Holding the Hand that Holds You Down
Anywhere But Here
Review by Ross Anthony

This is a mother/daughter film. Despite the fact that I am neither a mother, a daughter, nor a film; I loved it!

Flamboyant Adele August (Sarandon) finally leaves small town Wisconsin with her daughter Ann (Portman) for sunny Beverly Hills, California. On the road, Adele flagrantly curses her "Mayberry" upbringing and paints grandiose pictures of their new life on the West Coast. The captive brooding Ann (already missing her friends) winces at her mother's tall tales, while cultivating a dream of her own -- escape. After a quick spat, Adele stops the car in nowhere Arizona, "Get out! You don't want to be here! Get out!" Ann steps out into the lonely desert and stands unsure on the side of the road. Adele drives out of view only to return thirty seconds later. Those silent thirty seconds define Ann's conflict. Despite her faults, mom has always provided a safety blanket; flight will have to wait.

Strong script, direction, and acting. An oddly innocent scene with Ann and boy-interest highlights a film full of rich moments. Natalie Portman glows like a firefly on the fourth of July! Forget Sarandon, give Portman an Oscar and a half.

  • Anywhere But Here. Copyright © 1999. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, Michael Milhoan (as officer friendly).
  • Directed by Wayne Wang.
  • Screenplay by Alvin Sargent.
  • Produced by Laurence Mark at 20th Century Fox.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:33 PDT