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Everybody’s Fine (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

February 12, 2010 by  



Featuring an all-star cast and a top-notch performance by Robert De Niro who is absolutely magnificent in this film.  Definitely recommended!

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DVD TITLE: Everybody’s Fine

DURATION: 100 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen (2:40:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French Language Track, French and Spanish Subtitles, English SDH

COMPANY: Miramax Films

RATED: PG-13 (For Thematic Elements and Brief Strong Language)

RELEASE DATE: February 23, 2010

Written and Directed by Kirk Jones

Screenplay by Massimo De Rita, Tonino Guerra, Giuseppe Tornatore

Executive Producer: Craig J. Flores, Callum Greene

Co-Executive Producer: Vitaliy Versace

Producer: Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Ted Field, Glynis Murray, Gianni Nunnari

Co-Producer: Nathalie Peter-Contesse

Music by Dario Marianelli

Cinematography by Henry Braham

Edited by Andrew Mondshein

Casting by Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee

Production Design by Andrew Jackness

Art Direction by Drew Boughton

Set Decoration by Chryss Hionis

Costume Design by Aude Bronson-Howard

Starring:

Robert De Niro as Frank Goode

Drew Barrymore as Rosie

Kate Beckinsale as Amy

Sam Rockwell as Robert

Lucian Maisel as Jack

Damian Young as Jeff

James Frain as Tom

Melissa Leo as Colleen

Katherine Moennig as Jilly

Robert De Niro leads an acclaimed all-star cast- Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell- In Everybody’s Fine, the heartwarming film that will move you to laugter and tears. When Frank Goode’s (De Niro) grown children cancel a family reunion, the recent widower sets off on a cross-country journey to reconnect with each of them. Expecting to share in the joys of their happy, successful lives, his surprise visits reveal a picture that is far from perfect. A family separated by physical and emotional distance finds a way to come together in a story that will touch your heart.

In 2009, British director Kirk Jones (“Everybody’s Fine”, “Nanny McPhee”, “Waking Ned”) wrote and directed a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore’s award-winning 1990 film “Stanno Tutti Bene”. The film features cinematography by Henry Braham (“The Golden Compass”, “Nanny McPhee”, “Crush”) and music composed by Dario Marianelli (“The Soloist”, “Atonement”, “The Brave One”).

Where the original film had an operatic tie-in, Jones’ film “Everybody’s Fine” focuses more on a heartwarming family tale about family secrets and moving on after tragedy.

The film revolves around Frank Goode (played by Robert De Niro, “The Godfather”, “Taxi Driver”, “The Deer Hunter”, “Raging Bull”), the father of four who has kept himself busy taking care of the home after the death of his wife.  His routine is taking care of the garden and taking his heart medication but with the annual family reunion coming up, Frank wants to continue the tradition of what his wife had done for years.

But when he calls his children, the majority of them are unable to come this year and tell him that they are all busy.  So, Frank decides that why not take a road trip and visit each of them and see how they are doing. For Frank, he has been busy all his life working (working on the tubing that are on the telephone wires across America) and thus, his wife took care of the family and he never developed a strong relationship with them.  But hopes he can do it now.

While Frank goes to visit his oldest daughter Amy (played by Kate Beckinsale, “Serendipity”, “Underworld” films”, “Pearl Harbor”), his son Robert (played by Sam Rockwell, “Moon”, “Frost/Nixon”, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) and his daughter Rosie (played by Drew Barrymore, “E.T.”, “Charlie’s Angels” films”, “Donnie Darko”), all he hopes for his children is happiness.

But somehow during his visit, he realizes that things may not have been going so well and that they have not been truthful with him about their lives.  Also, he is unable to get in touch with his older son David and only the sibling know the reason why.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Everybody’s Fine” is presented in Widescreen (2:40:1).  The cinematography by Henry Braham is beautiful.  From capturing the beautiful scenery to capturing the emotions of the top notch cast.  The film through its cinematography captures family’s at their best and their worst.

Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.  Also, included is a French Language track.  The film is primarily dialogue driven and is front and center channel driven.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and in Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Everbody’s Fine” comes with the following special features:

  • The Making of Paul McCartney’s “(I Want To) Come Home” – (9:47) The making of “(I Want To) Come Home” and interview with Paul McCartney and how he became part of the film.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – A total of seven deleted scenes: Book of Directions, An Artist (Extended Scene), Every Day Is a Storm (Extended Scene), Red River Valley, You Like Hot Dogs?, Airport, I’m Sorry (Extended Scene).

A heartwarming and tragic tale about a man who gets to know his family and realizes he didn’t know much about them as he thought.

Robert De Niro absolutely shines in this role, that begs of him to not be a tough man but a father who is realizing his loss but also how his wife kept his family strong but also not sharing with him the difficulties about their children and now he is learning first hand for himself how the little children that he once remembers are now adults and each are not living this perfect life as he had hoped.

“Everybody’s Fine” features an all-star cast with Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell but where the original film focused on the family life and as mentioned operatic in that the Italian film featured children named after opera characters and the children’s lives being close to those characters, “Everybody’s Fine” is focused more on the father.  The siblings project this facade of a happy life but Frank (De Niro) is not dumb, he knows something is wrong and it all culminates up to the point where he finds out the truth of his son David, the son that he put the most pressure on when he was younger.

But most of all, realizing that his dead wife wanted to maintain order and out of love, she made Frank feel that everybody’s fine (thus the title of the film).

“Everybody’s Fine” is probably the most vulnerable we have ever seen of De Niro and just shows you the depth of his talent as an actor.  Although the film had a limited three week run before the Christmas holiday, I enjoyed this film a lot.

Having grown up watching films about parents and their children through director Yasujiro Ozu who showed the pain and happiness of parenthood and the bond between the parents and their children, “Everybody’s Fine” is a sentimental film that touched my heart because I know many parents in which one significant other would tell the other who is the breadwinner that life is good but behind those words lies a facade and sure enough, things are not always that good as it may seem.  Although, we are given a limited time to see Frank’s interaction with his children, it’s that journey and realization and discovery that touches you.  De Niro brings Frank Goode to life.

Overall, “Everbody’s Fine” features a strong, magnificent performance from De Niro unlike anything he has done before.  The film is sentimental, heartwarming and tragic but in the end, is a film that I adored.

Definitely recommended!






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