"The New Old Mill"
State and Main
Review by Ross Anthony

This briskly-paced dry comedy portrays the daily trials and tribulations of a film crew as they field obstacle after obstacle in Smalltown, America. The most blaring predicament - how to write the old mill out of a script entitled "The Old Mill?"

"Why did we have to leave New Hampshire?" the bumbling writer asks the producer who is never at a loss for a quick fix answer or "associate producer" credit with which to patronize a discouraged contributor.

There's the actress refusing to expose herself after recently finding God, the writer who can't create without a manual typewriter, the male lead actor with a fetish for underage girls and the local townsfolk spinning a love story or two into the mix.

Cute, cozy and wryly funny; the film, feeling of "Northern Exposure" is slightly too TV. This is a small drawback, especially in the face of a thumping bustling pace that the filmmakers maintain from beginning to end. The only other shortcoming (and again a small one) lies in the casting. Populated by many interesting characters, the writer eventually becomes the focal person. Though, Philip Seymour Hoffman, performs fine, he simply doesn't elicit the compassion of the audience. Other actors who may have been better suited for the role include: Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson.

  • State and Main. Copyright © 2000.
  • Starring William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Clark Gregg, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Paymer, Julia Stiles.
  • Written and Directed by David Mamet.
  • Produced by Sarah Green at Fineline/Hilltop/filmtown(C)2000. Rated R.


Copyright © 2000. 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 07:54:23 PDT