The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach tells the story of adult siblings in New York trying together to get rid of the influence of their aging father.
With The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Noah Baumbach is taking his first steps on the Croisette and brings into the Grand Auditorium Lumière a bittersweet comedy about the relationships between family members, brothers and sisters, parents and children, subtly played by Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, and Grace Van Patten.
The film humorously describes a New York where everyone seems to divorce, neglecting the frustrations of their children. The sudden illness of the pater familias brings together half-brothers and sisters in a great neurotic emotional crisis where feelings and resentments are revealed.
When Okja, the first film produced by Netflix (again both booed and applauded!) was spectacular, funny and moving, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is tormented, subtle and humorous. Featuring an exceptional cast of stars, the film portrays a middle-class New York family where most of the members are artists. Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman) is an aging sculptor craving for notoriety who remains a teacher. He has a daughter, Jean (Elizabeth Marvel) and two sons: Danny (Adam Sandler) and Matthew (Ben Stiller). Matt is a businessman, the only one in the family who is not an artist – but he earns money – while Eliza, Danny’s daughter (Grace Van Patten), already produces (very sexy!) short films. Emma Thompson plays Maureen, Harold’s fourth wife, who has a penchant for the bottle.
The Meyerowitz Stories shows a series of stories featuring brothers and sisters in a comedy that revolves around infantile frustrations due to the nonchalant, even contemptuous casualness, and to the pompous egotism of their father, a minor artist divorced and married four time. A comedy by the many humorous dialogues and scenes – in the way of Woody Allen‘s Jewish humor – but a comedy that is stigmatizing the dysfunctions, parental neglect and injuries inflicted by the family, generating traumas that can never really be healed…
Notes of one’s own family partition
Of course, the impact of Dustin Hoffman mitigates Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller’s personalities in each of his scenes (what his character always did), when they expose their scars. But the two actors are very good and Elizabeth Marvel is remarkable in the role of the girl who retired from the family wreakage to protect herself.
Without being touched by the grace of a true inspiration and without a powerful breath to push it to the summits of the Palmarès, The Meyerowitz Stories is an amusing comedy where everyone can find some notes of his own family score.
Before coming to Cannes to present The Meyerowitz Stories, Noah Baumbach directed the highly acclaimed Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale (nomination at Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay), Margot at the Wedding, Greenberg, Frances Ha, While We’re Young and Mistress America.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
A film by Noah Baumbach – 1h50
The Red Cartpet of The Meyerowitz Stories in pictures
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