Laurel Canyon

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Laurel Canyon ★★ 2002 (R)

Aspiring shrink Sam (Bale) brings fiance and fellow doctor Alex (Beckinsale) home to meet mom Jane (McDormand), a bohemian record producer with a very non-maternal view of sex and drugs—she likes ‘em, a lot. Sam still resents her for the way he was brought up, and she hasn't changed much, as she's currently sleeping with the young musician (Nivola) whose album she's producing. Alex is soon drawn into the carefree world around her as Sam is tempted by a collegue at work. Cholodenko tries to recreate the insight and verve of her debut, “High Art,” but falls short by making the story predictable and the characters flat. The only one who comes alive is Jane, and that's due more to McDormand's performance than anything she's given to work with. Nivola has a nice turn as her beau of the month. 101m/C VHS, DVD . US Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Alessandro Nivola, Natascha (Natasha) McElhone; D: Lisa Cholodenko; W: Lisa Cholodenko; C: Wally Pfister; M: Craig (Shudder to Think) Wedren.

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Laurel Canyon

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