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Please Give

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Overview

A family looking for some extra space gets drawn into a difficult relationship with the folks next door in this comedy drama from writer and director Nicole Holofcener. Kate Catherine Keener and Alex Oliver Platt are a couple living in New York City who run a successful store specializing in vintage furniture. Kate and Alex have a teenage daughter, Abby Sarah Steele and their apartment is starting to feel a bit small for the three of them; Kate and Alex own the unit next door to them, and once the flat becomes ...
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Overview

A family looking for some extra space gets drawn into a difficult relationship with the folks next door in this comedy drama from writer and director Nicole Holofcener. Kate Catherine Keener and Alex Oliver Platt are a couple living in New York City who run a successful store specializing in vintage furniture. Kate and Alex have a teenage daughter, Abby Sarah Steele and their apartment is starting to feel a bit small for the three of them; Kate and Alex own the unit next door to them, and once the flat becomes vacant, they plan to knock out a wall and take over the space. However, Andra Ann Morgan Guilbert, their tenant, is an elderly woman with a poor disposition who doesn't seem eager to go anywhere soon, and it's occurred to Kate and Alex that they're probably going to have wait for her to die, since evicting her would be very awkward. Hoping to make the best of the situation, Kate tries to strike up a friendship with Andra and her fiercely protective granddaughter Rebecca Rebecca Hall, but Andra isn't especially interested in making new friends, and Rebecca's sister, Mary Amanda Peet, isn't much easier to deal with. Kate and Alex are also struggling to communicate with Abby, who has her own issues regarding self-image. Please Give received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
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Special Features

Outtakes; Behind the scenes of Please Give; Q&a with director Nicole Holofcener
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Nicole Holofcener has cornered the market on a cinematic milieu that was once the exclusive province of Woody Allen -- rich, white Manhattanites. Please Give, her fourth film, solidifies her formidable talent. As with each of Holofcener's movies, this one stars Catherine Keener. Here, she plays Kate, a middle-aged antique dealer who runs the business with her husband, Alex Oliver Platt. Their specialty is buying items from the progeny of the recently deceased, taking advantage of the children's ignorance about the value of the items, and then flipping them in their boutique. While this is certainly legal, and has allowed them to cultivate a spacious Manhattan apartment, Kate is hounded by guilt about her success. She freely distributes cash as well as leftover food to any homeless person she passes, charitable acts that annoy her 15-year-old daughter, Abby Sarah Steele, because mom won't buy her new jeans. Compounding Kate's nagging shame is her desire for her elderly neighbor, Andra Ann Guilbert, to die so that they can buy her apartment and expand their own abode. Kate and her family maintain a friendly, though not close, relationship with Andra, as well as with the mean old woman's two unmarried adult granddaughters -- the selfless, sweet-natured, wallflower Rebecca Rebecca Hall, who cares for the frail 90-year-old, and the assertive, bitchy Mary Amanda Peet. The plot of Please Give is fairly minimal. There's infidelity, new love, and business intrigues, to be sure, but what makes Holofcener's work so engaging is her remarkable ability to put numerous three-dimensional characters onscreen, and allow them to behave in ways that are always psychologically driven, rather than dictated by story needs. Kate might be Holofcener's most accomplished creation, a woman so conflicted that she volunteers to work with mentally challenged kids not because she wants to do good, but because she needs to feel bad. She should be despicable in so many ways; however, between Holofcener's deft script and Keener's tenacious ability to get at the truth of a character, Kate becomes not only fascinating but also sympathetic. Everyone in the cast delivers stellar performances. Rebecca Hall's unforced naturalism matches Keener perfectly; the two share a few tender and awkward moments after Andra dies that are the emotional center of the story. Amanda Peet is unafraid to be unlikable, and Oliver Platt, another actor who always seems like he just stepped into his films from the real world, personifies a self-satisfied New Yorker too comfortable -- both in his life and in his marriage -- for his own good. Even the young Sarah Steele, who looks nothing like the glamorous NY teens of Gossip Girl in this film, makes us empathize with a bratty teenager because, like everyone else in the cast, she can communicate the subtle shifts her character undergoes without making us feel like we're watching a performance. Please Give offers ample proof that right now Holofcener has her finger on the pulse of the Big Apple in a way that no other filmmaker does, not even her former mentor Woody Allen. She sees how it's become a town ruled by money, and, most impressively, she understands how that affects the personal relationships of all the people who call it home.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/2010
  • UPC: 043396355903
  • Original Release: 2010
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / Dubbed
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 86,651

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Keener Kate
Oliver Platt Alex
Amanda Peet Mary
Rebecca Hall Rebecca
Sarah Steele Abby
Ann Guilbert Andra
Thomas Ian Nicholas Eugene
Technical Credits
Nicole Holofcener Director, Screenwriter
Stefanie Azpiazu Associate Producer, Executive Producer
Anthony Bregman Producer
Ane Crabtree Costumes/Costume Designer
Dana DuFine Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Frazen Editor
Caroline Jaczko Executive Producer
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Yaron Orbach Cinematographer
Mark White Production Designer
Marcelo Zarvos Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

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