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In her shoes
[DVD]

$5.99

IN HER SHOES is the story of sisters Maggie, (Cameron Diaz), and Rose, (Toni Collette), who couldn't be less alike. Maggie is dyslexicx, can't hold down a job, uses her sexuality in the most casual way, steals, and is generally a mess. Rose is focused on her job as a lawyer, but has poor self-esteem.

When Maggie's stepmother throws her out of her father's house after another drunken night, she goes to stay with Rose, with disastrous results. After Maggie has sex with Rose's boss and current lover, Rose, too, throws her out.

Maggie tracks down her maternal grandmother, Ella, Shirley MacLaine, whose existence was hidden by her father; Ella is living in a retirement home in Florida. After a while, Rose, who has quit her job and now earns a living walking dogs, flies south to Florida to meet her grandmother.

Curtis Hanson's fine new film is based on a book by Jennifer Weiner. On the surface, it's a women's picture (Hanson, a film buff, even includes a clip from that consummate 50s women's picture, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING), but it's really about family ties and the capacity for change.

It's a mature and intelligent work which explores with sympathy and candour not only Maggie's empty lifestyle but also the restricted world of her more 'sensible' sister, whose collection of shoes goes mostly unworn.

Excellent, too, are the scenes in the retirement village, with a lovely cameo from veteran Norman Lloyd, a former associate of Orson Welles, as a blind Professor who encourages Maggie to read poetry.

The performances are top rank, Toni Collette is quite wonderful, but Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine are also very good.

Perhaps Hanson makes the character of the stepmother, played by Candace Azzara, a bit of a caricature, and the film's a shade overlong, but overall this is an invigorating movie about painfully real people.
Date Added: 05/15/2013 by Hackman J
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