Sun, Jan 06, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Movie review: Hope Springs

By Manohla Dargis  /  NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , NEW YORK

Jones and Streep keep the therapy scenes lively, despite Frankel’s stolid direction, as he cuts between Dr. Feld, murmuring thoughtful, Oprah-eseque banalities from his chair, and Kay and Arnold, plopped side by side and sometimes squirming and mugging on the couch. Frankel has a tougher time once Kay and Arnold, who travel to Maine to work with Dr. Feld, retreat into their separate corners. Frankel can keep a scene alive when the performers are chattering or on the move, but once silence descends, he seems at a loss. There’s something about the quiet that sends him into a panic, and as he cranks up the tunes and throws in some Maine color, it’s almost as if he realized that his packaged uplift was a bad fit for that elusive American movie screen subject: an honest marriage.

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