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Private Lives of Pippa Lee

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Product Overview

After nearly two decades under the wing of an aging husband, devoted mother and housewife pippa lee undergoes a midlife breakthrough. Unearthing the sexually curious wild child of her teens, pippa sparks a relationship with a kindred soul.


Studio Screen Media/gaiam
SKU 213262938
UPC 852459002537
UPC 14 00852459002537
Format DVD
Release Date 7/6/2010
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1
Name Penn,Robin Wright
Link Search Link
ReviewSource USA Today
Review Every once in a while, a multidimensional role comes along that seems tailor-made for an actor...It happens less often for actresses, particularly those over 40 -- which makes The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, featuring an Oscar-worthy turn by Robin Wright, a truly happy surprise...Wright keeps focus on her work, not her divorce...Wright gives the title character a complexity and emotional shading often missing in this kind of ensemble comedy/drama. Pippa has the feel of a heroine in literature, rather than on the big screen...Pippa, 50, is the seemingly serene wife of successful publisher Herb Lee (Alan Arkin), who is 30 years her senior. She seems to have it all: a good marriage, successful twentysomething children, wealth, good looks and glowing health...She even weathers a move with her husband to a sleepy retirement community, his "pre-emptive strike against decrepitude." But things slowly start to unravel, and the tumultuous past she tried to ignore comes back to haunt her...It sounds like standard chick flick/Lifetime movie stuff, but because of the strong cast and a few surprising twists, it rises above expectations for the genre. While the plot can be a bit episodic and has a whiff of the familiar, the psychologically astute dialogue by writer/director Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose) rings true...Keanu Reeves has an appealing, low-key turn as the lost-soul son of Pippa's neighbor, and Blake Lively does a nice job as the young and wilder Pippa. But the best performance, next to the nuanced and evocative portrait painted by Wright, is that of Maria Bello. She plays young Pippa's charismatic but deeply diet-pill-addicted mother. It's a particularly fearless performance...As the mystery of Pippa's character unfolds, her comfortable world topples around her. But she has the grace and wisdom to sway with it.
Reviewer Claudia Puig
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource New York Post
Review Robin Wright has her juiciest role since Forrest Gump in Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, a starry, semi-satirical version of '70s feminist dramas like Diary a Mad Housewife and An Unmarried Woman...If the title "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" weren't already taken, it would fit this uneven movie, and not only because of Wright's Pippa Lee, who is coming apart after moving to a Connecticut retirement community...Our 40-ish heroine has long been married to the much older Herb (Alan Arkin), a publisher who refuses to give up work entirely after three heart attacks -- and increasingly vocally resents that Pippa has become his caretaker...That -- and the sudden arrival of Chris (Keanu Reeves), the hunky 35-year-old unemployed, emotionally damaged and newly single son of a neighbor (Shirley Knight) -- triggers a series of sleepwalking episodes...Pippa Lee's facade as a perfect hostess -- she's described as "a mystery and an enigma" by a friend -- is also cracking under the strain of memories of her turbulent youth...Maria Bello once again pushes the envelope as Pippa Lee's emotionally volatile, pill-popping mother, whose mood swings eventually force the teenage Pippa Lee to flee to a lesbian aunt in Manhattan...But there, Pippa Lee encounters her aunt's girlfriend (a nifty cameo by Julianne Moore), who offers a taste of "dangerous" fun...Pippa Lee (played as a young woman by Blake Lively) falls in with a druggy art crowd in the 1970s...But she gravitates toward the controlling Herb, even though he has a wife (Monica Belluci) who is arguably even crazier than even her mother...Back in the present, Pippa Lee has a hyper-dramatic, untrustworthy best friend (a very funny Winona Ryder) and a daughter (the always excellent Zoe Kazan) who despises her, risking her life as a photojournalist in the Middle East...Miller never really fleshes out all of these colorful characters in her emotionally facile script, leaving the heavy lifting to the actors...Fortunately for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Wright is more than up to the challenge.
Reviewer Lou Lumenick
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Liz Beardsworth, Empire This [movie] is way more than it seems and manages to surprise and enchant throughout.
Marc Mohan, Portland Oregonian Flashes of dark humor and steady, grounded performances make it a welcome return for Miller...
Stephen Holden, The New York Times Rebecca Miller's fourth film is a wry, acutely observant drama.

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