Lymelife is one of those films you have to see twice in order to catch every detailed corner of the screen and every tick (pun intended) in all of the actors performances. The plot exists solely as an excuse to explore these fascinating, complex characters much like Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. No coincidence he is a producer of the film. It captures a time and a place with ease but never smothers you in hokum. Standout performances upon second viewing go to Rory Culkin as the film's central character, a tall order for a youngster who carries the first twenty minutes of the film by observing and not saying too much. And that is the brilliance in the performance which he pulls off with ease and is extremely compelling in doing so. Alec Baldwin does his thing to a point. When everything goes downhill for him it is heartbreaking. Baldwin hasn't played a role like this in ages and it's great to see him back at it. Another is Timothy Hutton. An example of how confident this director is in his first film, he again uses very little dialogue and almost no exposition to establish Hutton's character's duality. He serves a a real person who suffers in silence, while somehow managing to provide a few gems of hilarious humor. He also serves as the film's theme, which really hit home the second time around. The first time the film is so engaging, especially in the way it is set up, that I found myself slightly behind most of the characters. Playing catch up is a great device that Martini uses to keep you fully engaged throughout the entire film. I really don't know how he did it with this human drama that has quite a bit of humor in it. This device is useful for a mystery type film, but somehow Martini manages to use it here to magnificent effect when applying it to his characters. To not spoil, my feeling on the ending is it is another risky choice that pays off. It is bold and beautiful. I did not want to leave the theater. Briefly, this is a must see, and I would not be surprised if some nominations come its way. Great work.
Lymelife (2008) 720p YIFY Movie
The Synopsis for Lymelife (2008) 720p
Set in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, SCOTT, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American life during a time of drastic economic and emotional change.
The Director and Players for Lymelife (2008) 720p
The Reviews for Lymelife (2008) 720p
Best 2009 Indie by a landslide. Best directing debut in a decade.Reviewed byfreedombraveheart82Vote: 10/10
I frankly don't get it. What kind of taste, intelligence, knowledge of life, has the people that tell us it's a masterpiece?? I stopped seeing it about after 10 minutes run. I couldn't stand the look of those two (brothers?), the stupid script, the aging Baldwin... I'm quite disoriented by all these fabulous eulogies. Do they love anything that comes out of Hollywood automatically??
It doesn't matter that we see all the incongruence about mentioning things that didn't appeared until ten years or more later?? Are people that ignorant about the recent past?? They don't care if the historical period is reported inaccurately?? Every situation is so trivial, we have seen them a trillion times before. What was funny about the dialog?? Uff..., I have so many question that I better stop here because I don't give two hoots about this movie.
I attended the World Premiere of "Lymelife" at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. This touching but occasionally disturbing coming-of-age story was, literally, a labor of brotherly love. Director Derick Martini and his brother Steven not only wrote the screenplay together but they also co-edited it. Adding to those responsibilities, Steven composed the music and was one of the producers.
Based on events in their own lives, the brothers Martini have crafted a story of love and denial, mystery and tragedy.
The film focuses on two families, the Bartletts and the Braggs. The adults here -- Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessy as Micky and Brenda Bartlett, Timothy Hutton and Cynthia Nixon as Charlie and Melissa Bragg -- are woefully flawed and ill-equipped role models for their children -- Rory and Kieran Culkin as Scott and Jimmy Bartlett, Emma Roberts as Adrianna Bragg. When Scott and Adrianna begin to discover the joys of young love, the road down which they travel is as full of promise as the Long Island Rail Road tracks that carry the ever-present trains past their houses.
"Lymelife" has the classic, bona fide look and feel of a true American indie. The 70s soundtrack is a real crowd pleaser. Long Island's bucolic setting betrays the tension and deception that lies just beneath the surface of these dysfunctional families.
Photography is topnotch, and cinematographer Frank Godwin fills the film with long takes and tracking shots (Gus Van Sant fans will be pleased) which help build tension and allow the audience to stay in tune with the film's ebbs and flows. Many scenes without dialogue are among the most powerful as Martini allows Rory's face and eyes to say more than any script could (think "Mean Creek").
The entire ensemble cast turn in standout performances. Timothy Hutton and Cynthia Nixon are particularly impressive. But, most of all, Rory Culkin carries this film. His relationship with his brother offscreen translates onto the screen so well that it's hard to tell where the acting ends and the Culkins begin. In fact, Martini said he often left the camera rolling and didn't yell "cut," in order to capture their playfulness. If the interaction between the brothers felt authentic, it may be because much of what is seen on screen was improvised. That's why it seemed so real and painful, because it was.
Despite some dark themes, "Lymelife" has quite a bit of humor in it. Imagine a slightly lighter "American Beauty" or "Snow Angels." In fact, Culkin's relationship with Emma Roberts is, along with that of Michael Angarano and Olivia Thirlby in "Snow Angels," one of the the best depictions of first love and awkward sexual encounters I've ever seen.
Ironically, Martini's style is also quite similar to that of David Gordon Green, who directed "Snow Angels." He allows much of the action to come from the actors themselves as opposed to his own direction.
Despite the film's many twists and turns, "Lymelife" is ultimately a story of the wonders of discovery. More than anything, what we discover are the possibilities presented by youth.
The Toronto experience is unlike any other. First, Martini introduced the film. In fact, they delayed the screening as long as they could and he tried to vamp onstage for awhile since Kieran and Rory were held up in traffic. He eventually decided to roll the film, and just as he was about to turn over the mike and walk offstage "his boys" walked in. He didn't want to start it without them. So right from the start there was a bond between the filmmaker, cast, and audience. It was one of the festival's small venues so it was packed.
The exciting Q&A after the screening was truly a family affair with both the brothers Martini and Culkin in attendance. Very few people left as the credits rolled since the film leaves many points open to interpretation. Martini was exceptional. It was one of the best Q&As I've attended (and that numbers in the hundreds). He was upbeat, friendly, and willing to discuss a lot of the "behind the scenes" aspects. Many filmmakers are a bit shy onstage and reluctant to open up. He was not.
I chose "Lymelife" as one of my 5 Top Picks from this year's festival (out of 30 films). It also won the prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery and is now making the rounds of the festival circuit. Screen Media picked up the film for distribution and it hits theaters on April 8, 2009.