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Posts Tagged ‘kathryn hahn’

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) and his six children live off the grid, hunting and scavenging for their food. He ‘homeschools’ the children, and teaches them survival techniques, giving them dangerous knives and other weapons as presents.

However, when the death of Ben’s wife Leslie forces them to take a trip back to civilisation for her funeral, there is a distinct clash of cultures between their way of life and that of Leslie’s family (and indeed Ben’s own family). For while Ben has taught his children how to survive life or death situations, they are socially inept, as demonstrated by their eldest son when he meets a girl who has a crush on him.

The film raises the question of whether what Ben is doing is fair and right for his children, or whether it is a form of abuse. At least two of the children rebel against his authority and he is left with difficult decisions.

It would be easy to hate Ben for what effectively amounts to brainwashing, and for his almost smug attitude towards other people – for example when his sister’s two sons are unable to tell him what the Bill of Rights is, he calls down his eight year old daughter, who breaks it down for them without a second thought. But Viggo Mortensen is such a talented and subtle actor that while it’s one thing to see what damage Ben is – albeit inadvertently and with the best of intentions – doing to the children, we can also sympathise with him to an extent. But we can also understand the frustration of Leslie’s parents (Frank Langella and Ann Down), who are also basically very decent people.

With splendid acting from all concerned, and a compelling central character, this might not be as funny as you might expect, but it’s compelling and never gets boring. It’s almost two hours long, and felt half the time to me. Recommended.

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were-the-millers

After getting his stash of pot stolen, small time dealer Dave (Jason Sudekis) is ordered by his boss to go to Mexico and smuggle pot back into the United States. Deciding that the best way to make himself look innocent while crossing the border is to take a fake family, he enlists the help of stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to play his wife, geeky virgin Kenny  (Will Poulter) to play his son, and streetwise Casey (Emma Roberts) to play his daughter. However, things inevitably go awry and they find themselves chased by a drug lord and his henchman, and trying to avoid getting arrested.

I really liked this film a lot. It’s true that it was never going to win any major awards, but if you want a barrel of laughs – some definitely on the adult side – then this does nicely. Naturally there is some good-heartedness as the rag-tag bunch go from animosity and antagonism to actually starting to care about each other. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn also showed up as a couple of fellow travellers, who get enmeshed in ‘The Millers’ adventures, and both were excellent. I belly laughed several times.

Overall, if you are looking for a light hearted comedy, and don’t mind some adult humour, I would highly recommend this film.

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Year of release: 2013

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writers: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris

Main cast: Jason Sudekis, Jennifer Aniston, Will Poulter, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Molly Quinn, Matthew Willig, Tomer Sisley

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