The Upside of Anger (2005)

The Upside of Anger (2005)

GENRESComedy,Drama
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Joan AllenKevin CostnerErika ChristensenEvan Rachel Wood
DIRECTOR
Mike Binder

SYNOPSICS

The Upside of Anger (2005) is a English movie. Mike Binder has directed this movie. Joan Allen,Kevin Costner,Erika Christensen,Evan Rachel Wood are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2005. The Upside of Anger (2005) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama movie in India and around the world.

A sharp-witted suburban wife, Terry Wolfmeyer, is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when she falls for her neighbor Denny, a once-great baseball star turned radio d.j. This leaves her daughters out on a limb. They are forced to juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas as well as their own.

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The Upside of Anger (2005) Reviews

  • Good But Not Great

    sgpfan2005-06-10

    This is a movie that draws audiences through its great character portrayals that run the gamut from the joy of rediscovering love, to potential and actual tragedy and heartache, as well as anger. However, some may find the pace a tad slow while Costner-bashers (and there are many) will remark that he has finally found a role that suits him. Not that he shines here but the character he plays is a reflection of his actual life - a has-been who has seen better days and is clinging on to fame and celebrity by the skin of his teeth. Regardless of what you think or feel about Costner, it is shocking to see him deteriorate so much physically as the effect of middle age has fully come home to hit him in the gut (pun intended!). Costner's ability to fit into a family initially thought to have lost its husband/father figure to a mid-age love affair to an ex-office staff, only for the shocking truth to be revealed later, lifts the movie. The great interaction between four daughters and an angry wife with Costner's father/suitor role does not come across as sickeningly sweet and is handled deftly by the players and good direction as the plot unfolds. If you can spare a couple of hours and want a quiet movie that does not shock with violence or ridicule with over the top humour, this may be just the one to while away a rainy day with. Not Kleenex box at hand material, but sufficiently absorbing and engaging enough.

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  • Costner's Gift to Joan Allen

    gregorybnyc2005-08-01

    I've always admired Kevin Costner's laconic screen presence, in BULL DURHAM, TIN CUP, even DANCES WITH WOLVES, JFK and PERFECT WORLD. Now no longer leading-man handsome, he's developed into a first- rate character actor, and as a washed-up, alcoholic ex-baseball player-turned radio talk-show host, Costner offers company and comfort to Joan Allen as a drinking buddy in the bittersweet THE UPSIDE OF ANGER. Mike Binder's superb film about an abandoned wife of four teenage girls should qualify as one of this year's best films. But because it was released so early, did only respectable business, and isn't a vehicle for an over-hyped box-office attraction on magazine covers now, it will probably only get the respect of word-of-mouth. I saw this engrossing, deeply wonderful film when it opened last winter, and made up my mind that I would have to have the DVD as soon as it became available. Joan Allen, as Terry Wolfmeyer dazzles us in a performance that is both comically and dramatically masterful as the drunken mother seemingly at war with her four beautiful daughters. Terry's rage over her husband's abandonment of her and their children, is a mean-spirited rebuke to her daughters, who try with great patience to survive their mother's theatrical bitterness. But mama has given them the gift of her humor, and I think it's what saves these girls. There's a look that Joan Allen gives when one of her daughters is doing exactly what she doesn't want them to be doing. What it is they are doing to upset their mother is always in doubt because she's never really making rational sense. She's only filtering her displeasure through the rheumy eyes of her last cocktail. There's a scene at the family dining room where Hadley, her eldest daughter (the ever fascinating Alica Witt, who should be starring in her own movies), announces she's pregnant with her second baby. Allen was none-to-happy that her daughter opted for marriage and motherhood over a career, and her beady- eyed stare at her daughter's latest announcement of her grand-motherhood is a comic masterpiece. But when Allen finally can no longer avoid facing her crippling anger, Allen breaks your heart. Having never had an outlet for her comic abilities, she's surprises you with her skill. That she walks this fine tightrope between both extremes says much for her talent as an actor. Finally back to Costner. Denny Davies might have been a dangerous character for Costner to revisit. Afterall, he's played washed up or played out sports characters before. His career has suffered a very precipitous fall following the media-created debacle of his so-called grandiose ego in WATERWORLD, and the opportunities have been few and far between since then. But Denny is a rich character any actor would love to sink their teeth into, and Costner embraces Denny's humanity with consummate ease. Discovering his neighbor has been abandoned by her husband, Denny offers to keep her company while they drink. They warily circle each other during these boozy afternoons of watching television, drinking and not saying much to each other. And when that changes, you see the transition from friend to lover mainly through the eyes of Denny. When she first proposes they sleep together, it's Denny who chickens out at the last minute. But as their relationship develops, you see Denny reach out to Terry's girls in a way that is sympathetic but also gives them room to accept and then love him in return. This is a terribly important test for Denny. So when the youngest of the girls finally asks him if he plans to marry Terry, Denny comes to understand that the girls have welcomed him into the family. Costner is sensational in this film, but he keeps it all so low-key, always keeping the focus on Allen's character, and he ends up giving her the film--and rightfully so, I think. This is a gift to Allen. Costner recognizes this, and I think the movie is all the better for his act of generosity. This is a performance that people will talk about for years to come. Like Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid, Costner is one of our best screen actors, and it's great to see him in a role that is truly worthy of his fine talent. Each of the daughter's is skillfully rendered by Erka Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russel and Alicia Witt. These young women look and act like siblings. Auteur Mike Binder has given himself a role as Denny's radio producer, who is romancing one of the daughters, much to her mother's disgust. He's funny, pathetic, and just a bit creepy as a Romeo with romantic ideas way above his station! Binder's fine script gives this ensemble film the ballast that keeps you laughing and crying. He's found the emotional core in these character's lives, and the pace of the film, which clocks in at just under two hours, provides a sense of completeness. Ultimately it is Costner's generosity as an actor that so disarms the viewer. In every shot, Joan Allen's Terry is the riveting center, with Costner playing to her every moment without stealing attention away from her. That earns my whole- hearted respect. THE UPSIDE OF ANGER should be seen and savored by anyone who cares deeply about moves with something to say about the human condition. Binder's adroit direction makes this a film to set beside TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and Lasse Hallstrom's vastly underrated SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT. Finally it's such a pleasure to see two pros such as Allen and Costner hit it right out of the park!

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  • An Upside to This Year's Movies

    jhclues2005-04-10

    Life doesn't come with an instruction manual or a script to follow, it's basically improv on a daily basis, and as it plays out people and things often are not who or what they seem to be on the surface. It's reality, as opposed to the way you expect, hope or want it all to be; truth, as opposed to an individual perception of truth. That's life. And "The Upside of Anger," written and directed by Mike Binder, explores some hard realities that differ drastically from expectations and perceptions. The film opens with a funeral, a somber note which in a sense prepares you for what is to follow, after a flash back of three years, at which point the story begins. Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) is at loose ends because her husband has run off with his secretary, leaving her and four daughters behind to fend for themselves. Angry, distraught and a stone's throw from bitter, Terry turns to alcohol to deaden the effects of what has been a life-altering experience. Luckily-- or maybe not-- Terry has a neighbor, Denny Davies (Kevin Costner), an ex-pro baseball player turned radio talk show host, with whom to share a drink and commiserate. Her daughters (three teens and one in college) are supportive, as well-- to a point. But they are each in their own way also struggling to understand why their father deserted them. By all accounts, this was in no way a dysfunctional, angst-ridden family, so the actions of their father is a mystery to them all. Naturally, it's a pivotal point in their lives, and before any of them can move on, especially Terry, they have to know why he did what he did. In the meantime, with or without this needed closure, life is happening to and around them. Binder (who also appears in the film as the producer of Denny's radio show) displays an astute knowledge of human nature with this film, and how random the myriad twists and turns of life can be. He holds your attention from the opening scene (who's funeral is it, anyway?), and just when you think you know where the story is going it takes an unexpected turn. And he is in no way attempting to manipulate his audience; rather, he is giving you a reflection of the way life so often simply does not go the way you think it's going to. It's a succinct look at relationships, and of how fragile-- as well as resilient-- we all can be. As Terry, Joan Allen sets vanity aside to create her character and turns in an Oscar caliber performance in doing so. When she gets up in the morning she looks like a middle-aged woman with insufferable problems and a hangover, a woman in the throes of coping with a traumatic experience who is desperate to reconnect with a life she no longer has and who will do anything within her power to hang on to what she has left. She's walking a tightrope over a deep abyss and she's understandably on edge, so when one of her girls tugs the rope and compromises her control and security, she quite naturally lashes out, proving the old adage you always hurt the one you love. There's a scene in which a grieving Terry draws her hands to her breast and, head lowered, utters a cry, and anyone who has ever known any kind of grief or loss in their life will at that moment know exactly what she is going through. It's a terrific piece of acting, a performance that is altogether affecting and memorable. And, as performances go, Kevin Costner, too, puts vanity aside to create a character that is entirely convincing. Denny Davies is paunchy, his hair is thin and most of the time he looks as though he's had one beer too many. Still, he's engaging, and you get the feeling there's a complex individual hiding behind an external simplicity that perhaps helps to mask his true feelings about a lot of things in his life, including his career on the diamond. Why, for example, does he refuse to talk about baseball on his sports talk show? In it's purity, this is arguably Costner's finest performance ever. Top notch performances are turned in, as well, by Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt as Terry's daughters, respectively, Andy, Popeye, Emily and Hadley; and by Binder himself as Shep. In the end, "The Upside of Anger" is an involving, memorable film that celebrates life and leaves you with a sense of hope, that no matter how bad things get we all have the capacity to get through it and somehow find the light at the end of the tunnel. And that's the magic of the movies.

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  • The Upside of Kevin Costner

    arichmondfwc2005-04-25

    Among the many pleasures that "The Upside of Anger" offers, Joan Allen and Kevin Costner's performances are very much at the center of it. We are used by now at Joan Allen's marvelous gallery of characters. Here, she reaches very high, creating a character that moves through highs and lows with overwhelming power. It is a performance so entertaining, apart from everything else, that you are really compelled to go wherever she wants to take you. Kevin Costner, however, is the biggest surprise. I'm even tempted to call it a revelation. He carries the soul of the character in his sleeve with disarming charm and humanity, not a single false note. I believed him, I loved him, I want to see him again. Mike Binder, the gifted writer director of this film, unfortunately, outstretches himself a little bit. He gives too much room to his character and instead of allowing it to grow with the famous less is more formula, he concedes himself a couple of extra long and repetitive scenes that slow down the proceedings in a rather dangerous way. If I had been the producer I would have fought like crazy to eliminate the supermarket scene. But I'm not going to dwell on it. The film is a triumph for the two leads. Thank you Joan Allen and well done Kevin Costner. I'll see you again at Oscar time.

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  • Drama with some laughs and a twist

    ArizWldcat2005-01-28

    I saw this when it premiered at the Sundance film festival (although the director & actors didn't bother to come to our screening), and I enjoyed it. Kevin Costner plays a baseball player, but the movie is not about baseball; it deals with the anger the lead character feels when her husband disappears, along with his secretary. Joan Allen plays the wife of the missing man, and is the mother to four daughters, played very well by Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russel, Erika Christensen, and Alicia Witt. Joan Allen was marvelous. We laughed many times when she glared in anger at different characters in the movie (and we were glad she wasn't mad at US! LOL...) I have not been a big fan of Kevin Costner in recent years, but thought that he did a great job as the man who helps Joan Allen's character pick up the pieces. The writer/director also has a role in the film as an older man who dates Joan Allen's daughter. I thought the message of the film was delivered well, and it was an entertaining story. There is a twist at the end that I truly did not see coming. I don't think it spoiled the movie, it was just unexpected.

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