7 September 2003 | khatcher-2
fine pairing; discreet directing
Susan Sarandon has amply shown that she is capable of turning her hand to most kinds of rôles and is especially adept at teaming up with youngsters. This is no less so in this film with the prodigious Natalie Portman: the two keep the film interesting when almost everything else is a rather blasé prêt-a-porté production, mostly due to Wayne Wang's rather uninspired directing, as well as a music score that has very little to do with the proceedings and did nothing to fill in any stop-gaps.
The film is saved precisely by the Sarandon-Portman tandem providing an energetic display of a mother, divorced, skidding along frenetically almost hysterically, and her adolescent daughter trying to keep her young head on her shoulders and pointing in the right direction. The result is an interesting clash of personalities, veering from the dramatic to the humorous in a style which is not far from being a `road-movie'. Indeed, frequently, reminiscences of `Thelma and Louis' come to mind as the film unfurls, though `Anywhere but Here' is several rungs lower down on the ladder.
Even so, my vote is slightly higher than the IMDb average. Hopefully we shall be able to enjoy a true drama with these two ladies in the future, but with a more exiguous director Stephen Daldry, perhaps?