The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

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Overview

A recent college graduate desperate to have one last fling before launching himself into the real world falls into a strange love triangle with a charismatic couple in director Rawson Thurber's feature adaptation of Michael Chabon's freshman novel. Peter Sarsgaard, Mena Suvari, Nick Nolte, Sienna Miller, and Jon Foster star in a film that was adapted for the screen by director Thurber.
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Overview

A recent college graduate desperate to have one last fling before launching himself into the real world falls into a strange love triangle with a charismatic couple in director Rawson Thurber's feature adaptation of Michael Chabon's freshman novel. Peter Sarsgaard, Mena Suvari, Nick Nolte, Sienna Miller, and Jon Foster star in a film that was adapted for the screen by director Thurber.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh gained brief notoriety when actress Sienna Miller dissed her host city during an interview, replacing the first syllable of its name with a rhyming, unprintable synonym for "feces." That unprintable synonym could also describe Rawson Marshall Thurber's movie. Based on a book by Michael Chabon Wonder Boys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh should have had plenty of promise. That promise was strangled as soon as they cast the lead, a dullard by the name of Jon Foster. Foster is not a terrible actor; being dull is his biggest problem. But that becomes the film's biggest problem, because this snooze is supposed to be the pivot point in a love triangle involving two beautiful, dangerous, exciting products of the counterculture, played by Miller and Peter Sarsgaard. Foster's buttoned-up Art Bechstein would not interest them even for a moment, let alone enough to turn their worlds upside down. The extent to which anyone's world is rocked by these decidedly non-mysterious events is debatable. Art's narration, which fights to drown out the dialogue, is hugely impressed with the allegedly cosmic importance of his summer between college and business school, full of navel-gazing grandiosities like "And then it happened" and "To this day..." Art supposedly bewitches not only the glamorous rebels, but also his manager Mena Suvari at the bookstore where he takes a summer job, whom he boffs in all corners of the store -- quite improbably, given his general demeanor. That her character is named Phlox gets at the film's dabbling with counterfeit eccentricity; that their relationship logically began when he got his summer job, but is later described as having started in March, exemplifies how even the film's internal continuity was flubbed. Wonder Boys may have been a hit, but they could have called this one "Blunder Boys."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/4/2009
  • UPC: 625828476501
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Peace Arch Trinity
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jon Foster Art Bechstein
Peter Sarsgaard Cleveland Arning
Sienna Miller Jane Bellweather
Nick Nolte Joe the Egg Bechstein
Mena Suvari Phlox
Rawson Marshall Thurber
Omid Abtahi Mohammed
Keith Michael Gregory
Technical Credits
Rawson Marshall Thurber Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Maher Ahmad Production Designer
Omar Amanat Executive Producer
Deborah Aquila Casting, Co-producer
Michael Barrett Cinematographer
Thor Benander Producer
Pete Charelli Executive Producer
Peter Chiarelli Executive Producer
Wendy Chuck Costumes/Costume Designer
Claus Clausen Executive Producer
James M. Emswiller Sound/Sound Designer
Christian Hand Musical Direction/Supervision
Jan Körbelin Executive Producer
Gary Kosko Art Director
Peter Kostense Executive Producer
Khristina Kravas Co-producer
Michael London Producer
Jason Mercer Producer
Bruna Papandrea Executive Producer
Vicki Dee Rock Executive Producer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Eric Sherman Asst. Director
Barbara Tulliver Editor
John Woldenberg Executive Producer
Tricia Wood Casting
Mary Ellen Woods Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    watch the Commentary Between Chabon and Thurber FIRST!

    For those who find it difficult to appreciate the adaptation format of film making from a famous novel, THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH as now released on DVD should help explain the naysayers' opinions. In a very valuable session of conversations among Michael Chabon and Rawson Marshall Thurber (screenwriter and director) and the producer and cast, the transition of this complex novel into a very altered story is comfortably explained and the person most happy with the result seems to be the originator - Michael Chabon!

    That being said this film stands well on its own terms. June and July in hot Pittsburgh generate mysteries among a variety of people, especially the young college graduate Art Bechstein (Jon Foster) who while working in a bookstore wastes time with a fling with the supervisor Phlox (Mena Suvari) with disinterested post grad classes dealing with becoming a broker and having monthly dinners with his mobster father Joe Bechstein (Nick Nolte), until he encounters an odd couple: bisexual biker and thief Cleveland (Peter Sarsgaard) and his female consort, the violinist Jane Bellwether (Sienna Miller). The bizarre interactions among these characters drive Art to make many decisions and discoveries - including his falling in love with both Cleveland and Jane. The summer winds down with Art finally discovering his own identity despite the clouds of mystery that have surrounded his life. It is a piece of life as lived by disparate characters whose direction in life seems at odds with the natural flow of finding happiness and success. But then the question is asked - what is happiness and what is success if not survival?

    For this viewer the explanation by the makers of this film was interesting enough to encourage a repeat watching of the movie. A good movie not a great movie, but it still tastes strongly of Michael Chabon's genius. It deserves more attention than the critics have given it.....Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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