Trapped in his mothers Lower East Side apartment, sixteen-year-old Finn wants nothing more than to escape New York and spend the summer in South America studying the Iskanani Indians, or Fierce People, with the anthropologist father hes never met. But Finns dreams are shattered when he is arrested in a desperate effort to help his drug-dependent mother, Liz, who scrapes by working as a masseuse. Determined to get their lives back on track, Liz moves the two of them into a guest house on the vast country estate of her ex-client, the aging aristocratic billionaire, Ogden C. Osbourne. In Osbournes close world of privilege and power, Finn and Liz encounter a tribe fiercer and more mysterious than anything they might find in the South American jungle the super rich. While Liz battles her substance abuse and struggles to win back her sons love and trust, Finn falls in love with Osbournes beautiful granddaughter, Maya, befriends her charismatic older brother, Bryce, and even wins the favor of Osbourne himself. But when a shocking act of violence shatters Finns ascension within the Osbourne clan, the golden promises of this lush world quickly sour. And both Finn and Liz, caught in a harrowing struggle for their dignity, discover that membership always comes at a price...
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Me and my friend read the summery and watched the trailer and were veryinterested and excited to go rent this movie. BAD IDEA. We thought amovie with actors that influential would have been a sure hit, but ourexpectations fell extremely short. First of all, the trailer andsummery are misleading to the point of lies. The movie started out slowfor the first 1 1/2 hours(reminder, its about two hours long) and whenit finally started to gain momentum, It sucked. Plus, the plots werevery hard to follow. It confused us because it kept skipping from onestory to another in random order. The characters where not veryrealistic when it came to reality. Sure the mum and son could be actualpeople in reality, but everyone else seemed to be one extreme or theother. If your a person who likes sick, twisted, unusual movies, thengo for it. But we advise not wasting two hours of you life you cant getback. Unfortunitly, no one told us that...
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD) Every now and then, I come across a movie that I must watch at least twice before I can determine where I stand with it. This is one of those films. I will be honest with you...I didn't think I liked it at first. The movie in its entirety isn't exactly my cup of tea. But for me, it's really about the moments and relationships within the story that make it or break it.I do pay attention to detail, but in order for me to really feel the personality of a film, I rediscover it a few times. Upon viewing it a second time, I grew quite fond of Kristen Stewart's character. There is a realness and attractiveness about her that I find intriguing. Although I may not be too engrossed in the overall story of the film, I find myself still watching in hopes of seeing her again. I might go so far as to say that if it weren't for her character and her impact on the film, I would not be interested in this movie.
divine performances from Lane and Sutherland
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD) Watch this movie for the acting. Donald S, Diane L, Kristen S and Anton Y deliver great roles, the screenplay could have been better, the directing is decent, the editing is not the best. I enjoyed it but it could have been better.
From the opening scenes of FIERCE PEOPLE (an interplay of tribalcustoms as photographed by the anthropologist father of the youngnarrator Finn Earl, demonstrating why this South American tribe ofIshkanani is so fierce) the direction of the film is nebulous: are wewatching a dark comedy about comparing life in the New York streets touncivilized peoples, or is this a message film of a more seriousintent? But as the story develops this fine line between entertainmentand philosophical impact becomes increasingly clear. Griffin Dunne'sdirection of Dirk Wittenborn's adaptation of his novel may be a bitcareless at times as it strays from rational plot development, but inthe end there is a strong enough final impact to patch up the holes hecreated.Our narrator Finn Earl (Anton Yelchin) lives with his coke-addictedmasseuse/sexually obsessed mother Liz (Diane Lane) in New York, waitingfor the summer when he is to join his anthropologist father on a fieldtrip to South America (a father he knows only from letters and videos),when a drug bust abruptly changes their lives: one of Liz's wealthyclients Ogden Osborne (Donald Sutherland) rescues the down and outfamily and moves them to his ten acre estate, the epitome of wealth andpower. In exchange for being Osborne's private masseuse, Liz and Finncan live in the mansion with the 'filthy rich' Osbornes - daughter Mrs.Langley (Elizabeth Perkins) and grandchildren Bryce (Chris Evans) andMaya (Kristen Stewart). Osborne and his physician lead Liz on thedrying out path and Finn bonds with Osborne and his grandchildren, anddespite the disparity in poor versus wealthy, the living situationworks - for a while. Incidents occur to alter feelings and Finn isattacked and raped by a masked assailant, a turning point for the filmand Finn's view of the Osborne family. Osborne reveals his past to Finnand together they manage to discover the truth about Finn's troublingincident - and also about the fierce disease of the wealthy class.The film uses many clips of tribal activity during the film, drawingsome disturbing parallels for some of the more challenging scenes. Forthis viewer that works well, but when the director elects to placetribal individuals in full regalia within the context of the Osborneestate, the concept feel contrived, as though the audience has to beforced to 'get it'. The various subplots between maid Jilly (Paz de laHuerta) and Finn and the introduction of an obese retarded chalk artistWhitney (Branden Williams) push the credibility edge of emphasizing theline between the wealthy and the 'lower class', but the performances bySutherland, Lane, and Yelchin are strong enough to make us forgive thefilm's lapses. Not a great film but one with a lot of worthy ideassplashed around on the screen of a project that often feels lost in itsstruggle for direction. Grady Harp
There is little in life sadder to see than a film that thinks it has a great deal to say of a revelatory or profound nature, but doesn't
this is an adaptation of a Dirk Wittenborn book, which I did not read.young Finn Earl lives with his Mom Liz (Diane Lane) in a cramped lowerEast Side New York Apartment. he dreams of joining his Anthropologistfather studying a fierce tribe in South America. Liz has boyfriends anddoes coke. when he is caught scoring coke for her, one of her customers(Liz is a legitimate masseuse) a rich Mr. Osborne bails her out inreturn for being his full time personal masseuse in his huge estate inNew Jersey. They are driven there in a limo with her strung out lyingin the back seat with her dress hitched way up and panties showing.(this and a few low-cut dress scenes is the only exploitation of Ms.Lane. some may be disappointed but I'm sorry she had to do all thatstuff in "Unfaithful" to make the A-List. That lady has more talent inher little finger than Streep, Roberts, and Sally Field do in theirentire BODIES and its time she was given her due.) when they arriveFinn makes friends with Osbornes grandson Bryce, and has a coming ofage with his new girlfriend, granddaughter Maya. Liz meanwhile joins AAand dates an AA doctor. She miraculously cleans up instantly. Finnhowever does a lot of drugs along with sex with his new friends. Bryceseems like an OK guy but gets jealous when Osborne takes Finn on a hotair balloon race instead of him, and this leads to tragedy.the genius of the story, (and movie) is that they cut from the violentacts of the Fierce filthy rich Blysdale tribe to the Yanomano warriors.It's a little implausible though that when Liz finds out what happensto her son she merely demands action from Osborne and does not eithercontact the authorities or settle it Thelma and Louise style. there areelements of a Gothic Romance with a revelation by the village idiot.Also they do almost no plot or character development prior to the moveto Blysdale. Liz, for instance, like Lane's Pearl Kantrowitz in "Walkon the Moon" had an unwanted pregnancy with Finn at 18 and felttrapped. This is in the book but not the movie. Still, these are minorshortcomings. The movie will be in full release 12/31/05 over a yearafter the original release date, and I just couldn't wait.There were lots of Red Carpet moments in the theater I saw the movieat, with almost the whole cast...except Diane Lane!! $#%#Q$ DirectorDunne said she was off filming a movie. I know she didn't promise to bethere, but I came from way out of town and it would have been such athrill to see her in person. The movie is a definite Best Picturecontender, as for acting?? Sutherland was quite good, and so was theboy who played Finn. Lane was magnificent as always, but I only recallone or two emotional scenes, when she catches Finn with drugs "lets getf****d up together mother and son" and with Osborne "your twistedgrandson...". She would fare better with a supporting actress nod butit wont work that way. unless they give it to her for a "body of work."
The laughs suddenly cease after a brutal rape sequence, and Dunne desperately and vainly tries to re-work the remainder of the movie as a metaphysical coming-of-age story.
This movie makes you see how the poor people try to fit into a rich family. The movie draws you in and makes you want to watch more of it.
I'm thinking of some things for this movie: First, really is a very badmovie. This is really "Superbad". The film looked very promising in thetrailers but fell flat... Maybe the original idea was good, but betweena bad script and bad acting the movie became boring and empty. Myadvise is don't waste 2 hours of your precious time. You have beenwarned. This is the first movie I rated 1 star at IMDb.com... Second,none of the characters are likable. You really don't care what happenedto them... Third, the villain is very easy to identify. The grandsonkills his father, sodomizes the friend's son, get the maid pregnant,smothers his grandfather... Like JT says, "If you like evil with noretribution, this is your movie". Nothing more to say...
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD) I'm a big fan of Kristen Stewart and this movie was for my collection it ship fast and came on time and it's a really good movie.
My stars are mostly for the exchanges between the boy and Donald Sutherland's character. Though the story is a little predictable and the message boringly simple (gilded rot, things are not always as they seem), the staging is very pretty and the narration occasionally clever. Would make a great Urban Outfitters commercial.
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD) I bought this movie because Kristen Stewart was in it and I wasn't disappointed. She did a good job. The story seemed to drone on but overall I liked it, and wouldn't be afraid to tell someone else to view it.
After a promising start, Griffin Dunne's film bogs down and simply turns into a predictable mish-mash of a movie that is shrill and heavy-handed and totally trite.
The last act promises some very dark and primitive acts -- not that you should care.
Not even the always reliable Diane Lane can save this one.
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD) It is easy not to like "Fierce People". For starters, it doesn't know what it wants to be. The first 3/5 are some sort of a "Coming of Age story meets Robert Altman" kind of deal, and then it gets dark, really dark, and turns into a very dark Coming of Age story. The movie is unsure which one it really wishes to be, and none of those themes are fully realized.And yet the five stars, yes. There are two reasons for this. The first one is that "Fierce People" doesn't deserve a three-star rating. It deserves at least four.The second are the leading cast. Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland are superb, even if they don't really have much to play. Anton Yelchin is the true star of the movie and - just like anything else he's been in - he does a wonderful job. His character Finn is smart and naive, lively and contemplative, and also sort of dense. That is, until he is forced to grow up fast and deal with a trauma that could haunt him for life if he lets it. Yelchin has some really tough dramatic moments to pull through, and he is brilliant in them.There is a certain subtlety in the movie. You can't really say it tries to *tell* you anything, but it is not empty either. This is where the "Robert Altman" part kicks in, and even if "Fierce People" is not on this level, it still manages to speak without saying things outright. It has its flaws, and this lack of clarity is a deffinite one in the end, but it's far from stupid. Like I said at the beginning, the movie is unsure of what it is trying to be, but what it ends up being, is good enough, and the acting is amazing. If that is enough for you, go ahead.Oh, and the cover is ridiculous. It makes "Fierce People" look like a romantic comedy. It's not. It's anything but romantic comedy.
I literally have no idea how to rate this movie. It comes in twohalves, and I quite liked both of them, but the two halves belong tocompletely different films. Have you ever been driving down a quietcountry road near your house, taken a left turn and suddenly foundyourself in Helmand Province, Afghanistan? That's what this movie islike - there's a tonal shift around the halfway mark that's so jarring,so out of place with what's gone before, that it left me utterlydumbfounded, staring at the screen, saying over and over 'That didn'treally happen, did it?'If I've got trouble with it, I can only take pity on the people who hadto market this movie. It's a pretty light comedy for the first half -all wacky families, odd-but-cute kid taking his first steps towardsmanhood, that sort of thing, and it's all very well done. And at thecentre of it all is Donald Sutherland, never better in the role of apatriarch who has made scads of money, but lost out in many other ways.It's light and frothy and amusing and - then. Then the event happens,and everything turns VERY dark indeed. The second half plays more likea socially conscious melodrama, with teenage pregnancy, class divisionand... other issues. It's good too, for what it is, but that seismicshift in the middle of the film makes it all pretty hard to stomach.So do I recommend this movie or not? Hell, I don't know. Both its partsare very good, but they add up to a baffling whole. I realize that thatisn't necessarily very helpful, but you probably ought to be warnedthat this has been marketed as a comedy, and an enjoyable coming of agemovie. That's true, but only up until the halfway mark...
This is an uneven film. The first half is pleasant enough, but the plot develops so slowly as to go virtually nowhere. Then the movie takes a sudden dark turn, and though it held my attention from here out, it seemed too different, almost like watching a separate movie. The film has some fine moments of insights and sentiments, and it also contains moments that feel contrived and forced. High caliber actors did their usual fine job, but most of the characters are presented superficially. The attempt to draw parallels to an indigenous South American tribe with the assembled characters is marginal at best. This is a mixed movie for me; two and a half stars right down the middle, but not a twinkle more; they could have and should have done a better job.
Dunne's messy, unpredictable, yet weirdly vital movie veers from one extreme to another without finding a consistent tone, but Sutherland never strikes a wrong note.