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Heights (R)

Release Date: June 17th (NYC-Paris Theater and Regal Union Square 14), by Sony Pictures Classics.
The Cast: Chandler Williams, Bess Wohl, Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Jesse Bradford, Isabella Rossellini.
Directed by Chris Terrio.

BASIC PREMISE: The paths of five lonely New Yorkers connect as they follow their hearts.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Glenn Close's performance is phenomenal. From the very first scene, she steals the show by far-- she should at least be nominated for Best Actress at Oscar time. Elizabeth Banks, who plays her daughter, is beautiful and also acts quite well but nothing like Close. There are so many fine actors and actresses in this film that it is impossible to be bored. Even Isabella Rossellini, in a very short hairdo, has a few scenes where she shines in this film. The plot is disjointed and contrived at times, but with patience and suspension of disbelief, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the wonderful performances. The script does have a few touches of humor hear and there, but this is meant to be a drama, not a comedy. If it were written by Woody Allen, there would be much more humor and social satire. There is one very entertaining and memorable scene with George Segal as a Rabbi who serves as a marriage counselor as well. The script does provide a few decent surprises in the final act without any overly preachy or cheesy moments.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: There are many themes that run throughout this film including love, destiny, loneliness, marriage outside one's religion, sexual orientation, honesty, and fear. Each of these themes are treated rather lightly without any depressing scenes. It is intriguing to watch all the actors search for love even when they are older, such as Glenn Close's character. What these characters discover about themselves and others is not surprising in a city with so much diversity. Even though the ending comes rather suddenly, it is still uplifting to watch the characters eventually find their destiny, overcome their fears, and, most importantly, become mature.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: When one character accidentally leaves his jacket in an auditorium where another character is located, it feels too contrived and unoriginal.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A light-hearted drama that combines many themes (and actors) and boasts a terrific, stand-out performance by Glenn Close.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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