- Running time:
- 90 minutes
- Catherine Keener -
- Amanda Peet -
- Oliver Platt -
- Rebecca Hall -
- Ann Morgan Guilbert -
New York couple Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) run a successful antique furniture store while raising their teen daughter, Abby (Sarah Steele), in the city. They’ve purchased an additional apartment next door with hopes of doubling their living space, but agreed to leave it alone until the current resident, grouchy senior Andra (Ann Guilbert), dies. That makes for an awkward relationship with Andra’s only significant family, her single granddaughters Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) and Mary (Amanda Peet).
The buzz: Writer-director Nicole Holofcener remains committed to bringing complicated women of all ages to the screen, cranking out movies at her own pace but never failing to deliver interesting work. Her fourth feature (after “Walking and Talking,” “Lovely & Amazing” and “Friends with Money”) once again stars Keener and focuses on female-driven ensemble cast.
The verdict: Holofcener’s films may not be visually dazzling but they always sound exceptional—few writers are more consistent at crafting sharp, witty and credible dialogue. Listening to the banter in “Please Give” feels like eavesdropping on natural conversations, shaped and selected by a skilled storyteller. That same care is reflected in the uniformly flawless ensemble cast. Every performer finds exactly the right way to play characters fleshed-out with recognizable (and most likely relatable) imperfections. Intricately plotted but executed with the wide open possibilities of life itself, “Please Give” offers its audience much to consider but doesn’t come packaged with tidy moral lessons. It’s a movie made for and about adults, at a time when the concept is becoming increasingly rare. There are many reasons to be thankful we’ve got Holofcener around, “Please Give” will remind you of them all.
Did you know? Inspiration for the apartment buying storyline came from a real life friend of Holofcener's, and the movie ended up using that friend's building as a location for filming.