by Jef Burnham
Now available on DVD from Monterey Video.
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Academy Award winning actor Martin Landau (Ed Wood) stars as Robert Malone, an aging grocery store bagger who finds love late in life when Mary (Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn, The Exorcist) and her daughter move in across the street. In the week leading up to Christmas, Robert and Mary grow ever closer, and although the pair appear destined to live out the rest of their lives together, a mysterious, growing darkness threatens to undermine their happiness.
Lovely, Still is a deeply moving love story of atypical beauty and resonance, with all the quirky little trappings of your average indy flick utilized in surprising ways. Landau (who also executive produced) and Burstyn are in top form. And first-time director, Nik Fackler shows incredible insight into the nature of love in this ambitious picture about late-life love. Of Fackler, it should be noted here that the director was but 22 when shooting began on the picture— impressive considering the respect he gives the characters when so many filmmakers depict the elderly as big, forgetful children. With the exception of a handful of unnecessary visual flourishes involving split screen, Lovely, Still is a film far beyond what one would expect from such a young filmmaker and is an inspiration to other aspiring filmmakers.
Adam Scott (The Aviator, Step Brothers) and Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock, Slither, Wet Hot American Summer) co-star as Robert’s kooky manager and Mary’s daughter respectively (obviously); and the film features original music by Conor Oberst and a score by Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis, all three members of Bright Eyes. Special features include an interview with Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn in which they talk at length about working with Fackler, an interview with Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks, and “Shop and Save,” a spoof commercial starring Adam Scott for the grocery store at which his character and Robert work.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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