Well acted, but not often believable, dysfunctional family drama.
Meryl Streep stars as Lee, a domineering single mother/cosmetologist
in Cleveland, who is raising two children. The eldest (Leonardo DiCaprio)
is a semi-insane rebel, put in a mental institution after attempting to
burn down their house. The youngest simply tries his best to please
his mother and not stand out. When Lee receives word that her sister Bessie
(Diane Keaton), whom she has not spoken to in 20 years, is in need
of a bone marrow transplant, she takes her two sons down to Florida
to reunite with her estranged family. Bessie has spent the last twenty years
caring for her bedridden father, and her eccentric aunt. The film spends
its time examining the relationship of the two diametrically opposed sisters
and the family that revolves around them. Marvin's Room is
obviously a film the actors loved...they get to emote and show their
acting chops at every turn. However, the characters and developments
seem a bit contrived. They seem written...not real, even though the actors
do a good job. Still, there are several funny situations, but the film
never touches you as deep as it wants to.
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