Anywhere But HereNovember 12, 1999
A mother and daughter search for success in Beverly Hills.
Release Year: 1999
Rating: 6.0/10 (10,018 voted)
Critic's Score: 59/100
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Hart Bochner
Fed up with her small-town Bay City existence, Adele August leaves her family and second husband and heads for Beverley Hills with her daughter. The teenager resents the move and her mother's always flamboyant behaviour and in turns plans to get away to university on the east coast. Mum's plans are different – she wants a movie star for a daughter.
Writers: Mona Simpson, Alvin Sargent
4 Year Old Ann
Man with Mercedes
Yvonna Kopacz Wright
Assistant Hotel Manager
(as Yvonna Kopacz)
Eva Amurri Martino
Girl on T.V.
Kieren van den Blink
Girl on T.V.
A story of a mother who knows best… and a daughter who knows better.
Release Date: 12 November 1999
Filming Locations: Beverly Hills High School – 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $5,607,137
(14 November 1999)
(20 February 2000)
Did You Know?
In this film, Susan Sarandon calls Natalie Portman Pooh Bear. In
Beautiful Girls, Timothy Hutton calls himself Pooh Bear and calls Portman his Christopher Robin.
At the end of the movie, when saying goodbye at the airport, we can see a mother with her baby at the background who walks out the scene in the middle of the conversation between Adele and Ann. Some seconds later she is again in the same point. It occurs between 1:42 and 1:43 time of the film.
Be optimistic, don't be so grumpy, when the road gets bumpy, just smile, smile, smile, be optimistic
Glad to be HERE
Anywhere But Here
The mother-daughter genre of film is one that is usually laced with caustic
wit (POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE) or draining melodrama (TERMS OF ENDEARMENT).
ANYWHERE BUT HERE is the latest entry into this undernourished genre.
Falling somewhere in between the two examples above, ANYWHERE is a passable,
but strangely distant film. One that for every unsuitable move it makes, it
has Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon to make the wrongs seem so very
Abruptly leaving her husband and family behind in Wisconsin, Adele August
(Sarandon) takes her teenage daughter Ann (Portman) across the country to
live the good and free life in Los Angeles. Having freshly minted a
tumultuous relationship with this sudden move, the two find themselves in
the strange position of having to rely on themselves and each other in the
big bad city. Adele is flighty, irresponsible, and refuses to settle into
her role as the parent. Ann is lonesome, homesick, and not sure about the
love she has within for her mother. Over the years we watch as struggle
after struggle continually opposes the family, with each battle reinforcing
the love the two share. Told from Ann's perspective, ANYWHERE is essentially
a film about trying to understand the people related to us. The bonds we
share with our parents, and how those bonds always seem to work against us.
Based on a novel by Mona Simpson and a screenplay by crisis legend Alvin
Sargent (ORDINARY PEOPLE), ANYWHERE is the kind of tragic-comic filmmaking
that I usually crave. Unfortunately, ANYWHERE is far from touching. Directed
by Wayne Wang, the film isn't nearly as resonate as Wang's earlier
multigenerational epic THE JOY LUCK CLUB. Watching Adele and Ann struggle
with their growing relationship is more tiring than emotionally satisfying.
The flow of the drama fluctuates so much, by the end you're just glad the
filmmakers didn't throw in one last argument for good measure. At 120
minutes, ANYWHERE is about six crisis over the limit.
It's the acting in ANYWHERE that takes the film to another level. We all
know Susan Sarandon can spin gold with her acting, yet each new film she's
been involved with recently (save the September vanity project ILLUMINATA)
has shown more and more how commanding an actress she truly is. In ANYWHERE,
only Sarandon could give Adele the most annoying characteristics yet ground
the performance in love and warmth. Adele really does care for her daughter,
she just desperately wants to maintain her own identity for once in her
life. Bursting out onto the screen like some kind of Southern California
Pokemon, her performance is grand and inviting.
But where does that leave Natalie Portman? After shimmying up into films
with should-be-legend performances in THE PROFESSIONAL and the locally shot
BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, Portman is like no other teenage actress working today.
It's a testament to her sensibilities that we haven't seen her in the latest
SCREAM variation or this next wave of AMERICAN PIE type comedies. Portman
carries ANYWHERE with grace and dignity. Director Wang should be given the
Oscar alone for his choice to just linger on Portman's face for extended
times. As expressive as her acting can be, Portman can live a million lives
in one glance. With Sarandon, the two create a complex and agreeable
mother-daughter relationship for their characters. They share overwhelming
chemistry and I hope this won't be the last time the two decide to work
Shot with a sparkling color palette by Roger Deakins, Wang captures both the
frail beauty of Los Angeles and it's hard realities. I also give Wang credit
for properly using dim-bulb actor Shawn Hatosy(OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE). In a
small role as Ann's beloved cousin, Hatosy finally shows some talent and
charisma. Unfortunately, the film is scored on autopilot by the self-looting
Danny Elfman and features the second most aggressive soundtrack push of the
year. The songs rarely fit in with the drama and scream "Buy me on sale at
Sam Goody!" too blatantly.
Just like the characters in the film, it's hard to hate ANYWHERE BUT HERE as
much as it is hard to love. Had Wang left open the emotion door a little
more the film might have made a lasting impact. Too many scenes do not pay
off the way they should and not enough texture is given to the characters. I
would recommend ANYWHERE BUT HERE, only for the opportunity to bask in the
glow of two actresses on the top of their game. —–7/10