"...Sumptuously crafted....Crowd pleasing and tear jerking moments..."
Rolling Stone - 11/25/1999
"...[Natalie Portman] is smart, funny, luminous and rigorously unsentimental..."
New York Times - 11/12/1999
"...Mr. Wang again works splendidly with actresses....Ms. Portman does a terrific job..."
Box Office - 12/01/1999
"...Wang keeps a precise balance, necessary to blend a high-octane performance from Sarandon with an understated one from Portman....The film looks ravishing..."
USA Today - 11/12/1999
"...It's terrific to see such well-matched actresses of opposing generations duke it out in this adaptation of Mona Simpson's best seller..."
Director Wayne Wang, known for family dramas about Chinese Americans that focus on mother-daughter relationships (DIM SUM, THE JOY LUCK CLUB), here adapts Mona Simpson's ANYWHERE BUT HERE, a novel perfectly suited for his talents. Teenage Ann (Natalie Portman) wants a normal life, but her mother, Adele (Susan Sarandon), has a different idea of what is considered normal. When Adele grows tired of claustrophobic small-town life in Wisconsin, she takes the constantly complaining Ann across the country to Los Angeles, where she wants to start a new life. Ann, however, doesn't want to go, and her behavior wavers between typical adolescent annoyance to real insightfulness into her mother's character. Much of this comes from the voice-over provided by the adult Ann, who explains it all from her mature point of view. This sentimental story, long on feelings and more feelings, is nicely played, with Sarandon enthusiastic as the eccentric single mother that her daughter can't wait to get away from.
Adele August is a free-spirit who becomes fed up with her boring life in Bay City, Wisconsin, and dreams of a better life in Beverly Hills. She's convinced that her 14-year-old daughter, Ann, has the makings of a true Hollywood superstar. Ann, however, doesn't want to hear it. Nonetheless, the pair heads for southern California. Adjusting to life in Beverly Hills proves difficult, straining Adele and Ann's already rocky relationship even further.
Based On A Novel |
Coming Of Age |
Natalie Portman initially turned down the role of Ann because of a love scene that required nudity. Susan Sarandon wouldn't continue involvement in the film without Portman, so the script was rewritten, and Portman accepted the role.
This film is one of only two movies (the other being WHERE THE HEART IS) that Portman agreed to work on while involved with the STAR WARS prequels.