Unstrung Heroes


Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 6.7


Downloaded 337 times
7/9/2019 7:36:23 AM

93 min
P/S 36 / 43

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8

Since this story goes back and forth between a comedy and a really sad, dramatic story, I guess you could call it unique. The drama is much more at the end involving Andie McDowell&#39;s character.<br/><br/>Supposedly, this is a true-life story of Steven &quot;Franz&quot; Lidz and his wacky family - the kid (Nathan Watt), the father (John Turturro) and the two uncles (Maury Chaykin and Michael Richards.). The story has a lot of Jewish flavor and religious themes, pro and con. It&#39;s not an easy story to explain so I won&#39;t go past what I&#39;ve said that it&#39;s simply an interesting portrait of a different-kind of family with lots of laughs early on but tears later. <br/><br/>You could get an idea early on that it&#39;s kind of a sweet movie, but there are some uncomfortable scenes in here. There is a little bit of about everything, guaranteed to strike everyone&#39;s emotions somewhere along the way. The story stayed with me long after I first watched it.

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Reviewed by jlbbbone 7

Directed by Diane Keaton, this is a beautiful, child&#39;s eye view of a difficult but enlightening period in a young boy&#39;s life. From Franz Lidz&#39;s autobiographical book, it&#39;s the story of his experiences coming to terms with his mother&#39;s cancer (described to him by his father as &quot;a very bad cold&quot;), and the changes within his family brought about by her illness. Offered little more in the way of explanation or reassurance by his father who is naturally overwhelmed with losing his beautiful wife (well-played by Andie MacDowell), the boy bonds for the first time with his two endearingly oddball uncles. The emotional aspects and situations are expressed subtly but richly, with a warm cinematic vision. <br/><br/>John Turturro is excellent as the boy&#39;s father, who we see as being rather cold and cerebral, always preoccupied and dismissive. The father is a genius, the mother tells her son, explaining that his scientific mind might make him seem like he&#39;s from another planet, but to try and cut him some slack and learn to appreciate him. His true feeling and human quality is finally exposed when, during an extended study of his face late in the film, Turturro shows us all the emotion of this brilliant young man who is helpless in the face of his wife&#39;s devastating disease.<br/><br/>The certifiably mad Uncle Danny is played by Michael Richards, who is finally given the opportunity to bring his Kramer, of Seinfeld fame, to a fully realized and hilariously paranoid characterization. Going to live for a time with Uncle Arthur and Uncle Danny, the boy, Steven (re- named &quot;Franz&quot; by his uncles and played impressively by then 12-year-old Nathan Watt) experiences a look into his family history and decides to study for his Bar Mitzvah, contrary to his atheist father&#39;s wishes. He also cleverly engineers a solution to the &quot;Lindquist Problem&quot; (a war the uncles have going on with their landlord), and learns to care for and about the two of them. Thus he returns home to his immediate family and his dying mother, newly confident and better equipped to cherish the remaining moments of her life.<br/><br/>This is a special movie and I couldn&#39;t recommend it more highly. There&#39;s no sense of the maudlin where it might have gone that way, but there is great humor that will be enjoyable to a wide range of ages.

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Reviewed by ricrisci 8

Very nice, touching movie. Made me cry. A story of a boy coming of age while dealing with a dying mother and rebelling against his father all in the context of a loving extended family. The (Jewish) cultural angle gave it authenticity. A fine performance by Nathan Watt but that John Turturro is really something. Michael Richards was essentially Kramer again. Interesting in that it is a woman director (Diane Keaton) who brings this story of male family love to the screen. While mom is very loving as well, she sadly and symbolically abandons Steven/Franz by dying and it is the weird (eccentric and harmlessly schizophrenic) uncles who support him thru it all, once again posing the question, &quot;Who really are the crazy (or heroes, for that matter) among us?&quot; I give it an 8.

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