McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Kathie Lee Gifford's Family Reveals Her Late Husband Fr...
American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...
Bruce Willis makes Broadway debut...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Lions Gate presents
Lovely and Amazing (2002)

Cindy: Your sister's a neurotic mess.
Michelle: My sister's insecure; is that a crime?

- Christine Mourad, Catherine Keener

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: November 13, 2003

Stars: Catherine Keener, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Mortimer, Raven Goodwin
Other Stars: Jake Gyllenhall, James Le Gros, Dermot Mulroney
Director: Nicole Holofcener

MPAA Rating: R for language and nudity
Run Time: 01h:31m:09s
Release Date: November 26, 2002
UPC: 031398815228
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-B+B C-

DVD Review

An essential aspect of the human condition in all walks of life is insecurity, which haunts our daily activities. The amount of uncertainty may vary from person to person, but it definitely exists in some form within each one of us. These feelings permeate the women of Lovely and Amazing, who each must battle their own doubts about work and family. Jane Marks (Brenda Blethyn, Secrets and Lies) lives very comfortably and has two adult daughters and one adopted African-American girl. However, concerns about her aging physique have caused her to undergo a liposuction procedure. She looks good for her age, but still believes this operation is necessary to enhance her self image.

Writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking) has crafted an engaging picture depicting unfortunate, realistic people who might be considered unlikable. Each major female character has her own set of personal issues that make situations very difficult, but also reveal a humorous side of the human condition. Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer) is struggling in the cutthroat world of Hollywood acting. Her agent treats her with utter contempt and barely even feigns the appearance of acting friendly. Auditions have little to do with acting ability and seem more concerned with discovering "chemistry." Elizabeth spends her days worrying about every little inch of her body and feels inferior to the other actresses getting the prime roles. She also spends time caring for stray dogs, which varies considerably from the typical Hollywood concerns.

On the opposing side is Elizabeth's sister Michelle (Catherine Keener, Your Friends and Neighbors), who's stuck in a marriage devoid of love or sympathy. Her husband (Clark Gregg) hates the fact that she avoids working and uses her time creating miniature chairs and other oddball art pieces. She does get a job at a one-hour photo lab, but it creates more complications when her 17-year-old boss (Jake Gyllenhaal) develops a crush on her. The third sister is young Annie (Raven Goodwin)—an African-American girl adopted by Jane and dealing with being different from her sisters and friends. Her insecurities appear with overeating and a nasty mouth towards adults and other kids.

These descriptions may seem to promise a depressing film, but the final product offers a very different result. Holofcener's script deftly combines biting wit with moments of surprising compassion. The tale's success rests largely with the excellent cast, who bring both emotional weight and humor to the material. Keener delivers stinging lines with her usual flair and gives a wonderfully tough performance. British actress Mortimer will not be as familiar to audiences, but her role is possibly the most difficult. Her nude scene with Dermot Mulroney had to be very difficult, but she pulls it off and delivers a stunning moment. Goodwin also does especially well and avoids the pratfalls common for child actors.

Lovely and Amazing conveys a unique, enjoyable look at a family devoid of strong male figures. The husband, boyfriend, and other guys rarely connect with the March women and remain focused on their own activities. The ability to connect emotionally must exist somewhere in the girls' hearts, but their guys never try to locate it. Luckily, the story does conclude with some refreshing scenes, but the bonds remain insular within the family. Once they learn to trust each other, the remaining difficulties might become solvable. This picture offers no easy solutions, which leads to a more realistic and engaging story.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: Lovely and Amazing utilizes an effective 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that contains few defects or blemishes. The story generally takes place indoors and lacks any visually stunning scenes, but it still provides a decent experience. Some minor grain does appear during the darker moments, but it rarely distracts from the overall presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: This release features a 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer that offers few moments of audio complexity. However, it does provide clear dialogue, which is the most important element for this type of film. The rear speakers generally remain in the background, but the poignant score does come into play at several key moments. This track rarely proves to be very noticeable, but it does a solid job throughout the movie.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Interviews
Extras Review: Lovely and Amazing includes four interview clips with writer/director Nicole Holofcener and the major cast members. Each section runs for about 2-3 minutes and discusses casting, working with Holofcener, production, and the camaraderie during filming. The interviews are promotional in nature, but they do reveal a genuine love for the material from each speaker that does not seem forced. The only other extra feature is the original theatrical trailer, which appears in a decent 1.85:1 widescreen transfer.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Lovely and Amazing stands among the cinema gems that are nearly impossible to categorize. Does it want to be a comedy? A character study? A family drama? In fact, this movie falls within all of those categories and none in particular. It does contain some imperfect elements, but they shift into the background due to strong acting and inventive writing.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, frank gifford, nfl hall of famer, sportscaster, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, kathy lee gifford, american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, music, adele, hello, 19, 21, 25, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas, comedy

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store