"Why are you smoking'"--Rudy "Because it's bad. Don't ever do it."
USA Today - 11/10/2000
"...This may be the best drama about what goes on behind closed doors in Anytown, USA, since AMERICAN BEAUTY....Linney is extraordinary..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 12/01/2000
"...[Linney] in her best screen performance....Pitch-perfect script and fine direction [by] Kenneth Lonergan..."
Total Film - 04/01/2001
"...A pair of charismatic performances from Linney and Mark Ruffalo....Matthew Broderick is in top form....Lonergan makes every moment count..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2001
"...What keeps the film fresh and engrossing is the perceptive, acutely observed scripting..."
Box Office - 04/01/2000
"...YOU CAN COUNT ON ME counts on great performances, and Linney, Ruffalo, Culkin and Broderick deliver..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/10/2000
"...Kenneth Lonergan knows what he's written and why he's written it....Even his tiniest moments ring true, which is why the ruefully funny dramatic comedy YOU CAN COUNT ON ME is such an exceptional debut..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 11/17/2000
"...A film of great tender truth....This is one of the best movies of the year..."
Wall Street Journal - 10/16/2009
"Kenneth Lonergan's debut feature finds stirring urgency, and lots of humor, in the bonds of love between a young woman and her wayward brother."
Set in a small town in upstate New York, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME looks at a brother and sister who grew up together as orphans but now face life with very different perspectives. Sammy (Laura Linney) works at the local bank. Most of her attention goes into raising her 8-year-old son, Rudy (Rory Culkin), and drifting in a tepid romance with Bob (Jon Tenney). The first disruption to her dutiful routine arrives in the form of new bank manager Brian (Matthew Broderick), intent on whipping his employees into shape. Then Sammy's wayward brother, Terry (Mark Ruffalo) shows up after a long absence, and her happiness quickly turns sour when she realizes he has only come to ask for money--again. But with all the elements for a backwater soap opera in place, the story instead becomes a subtle portrait of good intentions and fractured relationships.
First-time director Ken Lonergan was already a noted Hollywood screenwriter (ANALYZE THIS), but he saved this screenplay for himself. Avoiding both big-budget maudlin and low-budget posturing, he steers YOU COUNT ON ME straight to the gut with an artful balance of pain and comedy. A good number of excellent performances, especially by Ruffalo as the screw-up Terry, turn the film into a remarkably honest and moving experience.
Character Study |
Small Town Life |
Theatrical release date: November 17, 2000.
Robert Ebert and Richard Roeper (EBERT AND ROPER AND THE MOVIES), Paul Clinton of cnn.com, John Anderson and Gene Seymour of Newsday, Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News, Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer, Stephen Holden and A.O. Scott of the New York Times, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, as well as Time magazine, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Film Comment, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association, Stephen Garrett and Mike D'Angelo of Time Out New York, and the National Board of Review all named YOU CAN COUNT ON ME one of the 10 best films of 2000.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded YOU CAN COUNT ON ME Best Screenplay. The National Society of Film Critics and the Golden Satellite Awards presented by the International Press Academy awarded Kenneth Lonergan Best Screenplay. The Independent Spirit Awards nominated Kenneth Lonergan for Best Screenplay.
New York Film Critics Circle Awards went to Laura Linney for Best Actress and Ken Lonergan for Best Screenplay.
The Chicago Film Critics Association nominated YOU CAN COUNT ON ME for Best Picture. It also nominated Mark Ruffalo for Best Actor, Laura Linney for Best Actress, and Kenneth Lonergan for Best Screenplay.
Laura Linney was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture; Kenneth Lonergan was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay--Motion Picture.
Laura Linney was nominated for Best Female Lead by the Independent Spirit Awards.
Mark Ruffalo was nominated for Best Male Lead by the Independent Spirit Awards.
Kenneth Lonergan received the Special Achievement in Filmmaking award from the National Board of Review in 2000.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME received the Russell Smith Award (Best Low-Budget Independent) from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association.
Director Kenneth Lonergan and Producers John N. Hart & Jeffrey Sharp were nominated for Best First Feature by the Independent Spirit Awards.
Rory Culkin was nominated for Best Debut Performance by the Independent Spirit Awards.