Private Lives of Pippa Lee

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Director: Rebecca Miller

Cast: Rebecca Miller, Robin Wright, Blake Lively, Alan Arkin


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Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack & Rose) adapts her own novel with this comedy drama about a woman who begins a second life after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Pippa Lee (Robin Wright) is the loving mother of two grown children, and the wife…  See more details below


Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack & Rose) adapts her own novel with this comedy drama about a woman who begins a second life after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Pippa Lee (Robin Wright) is the loving mother of two grown children, and the wife of successful publisher Herb (Alan Arkin). Despite the fact that she's 30 years Herb's junior, Pippa and her husband have never fallen short on things to talk about. She's always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of New York, but after Herb suffers a serious heart attack, Pippa dutifully moves with him to a quaint suburban home in small-town Connecticut. And for a while, at least, she coasts -- enjoying frequent dinner parties with her new friends Sam (Mike Binder) and Sandra (Winona Ryder), and spending quiet nights caring for Herb, who has lately grown increasingly distant. That all starts to change when Chris (Keanu Reeves) comes back to town following a bitter divorce. Gradually, Pippa's suppressed resentments begin bubbling to the surface, highlighting the conflict between the free-spirited girl she used to be and the frustrated woman who has taken her place. Somewhere along the line, Pippa lost track of her own identity. But Pippa's remarkable journey of self-discovery is just beginning. Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci, Maria Bello, and Blake Lively co-star in a Plan B Entertainment production.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
With this terrific film, Rebecca Miller announces her ascendance into the upper echelon of American directors and sends a message to every author who's ever lamented Hollywood's desecration of their book -- if you want it done right, do it yourself. Working from her own novel, Miller beautifully translates literature into cinema, allowing the necessary specificity of film to animate her title character in ways that surprise and delight, while retaining space for the audience's imagination. The version of Pippa Lee that emerges from Miller's script and the glorious performance of Robin Wright Penn is simultaneously definitive and open to interpretation. Pippa is Hollywood's most endangered species -- a character who could be human. Pippa Lee is married to an older man named Herb (Alan Arkin), a successful publisher whose recent health problems have forced him to move, with her in tow, from New York City to a retirement community in Connecticut. In the film's first scene, Pippa is defined for us as "the ultimate artist's wife," but she lets the other characters debate her many merits while she herself remains notably silent. The rest of the movie represents her own revision of this fallacy, as she gradually unveils how her current persona as a wife and mother has effectively smothered her more fundamental experiences as a daughter, a niece, a runaway, and as a single young woman indulging in debauchery. The young Pippa is played by Gossip Girl Blake Lively, who glistens with a shy vibrancy that belies her desire for sympathy and discipline, even as she struggles to assert her independence. Miller elegantly sways between the past and present, so that Pippa's memories of her developing dysfunction are matched by the inexorable blossom of cracks in her contemporary domestic facade. Every scene ripples with tender insight or rambunctious humor, or often both, ricocheting off one another as Pippa samples the succulence of social transgression. Miller often brilliantly manipulates her mise-en-scène to enhance the entertaining antics of the narrative with deeper relevance. Watch what she does with the reflective blur of the trees on the windshield of a moving car, a trick which pays off nicely in the final scene. Perhaps Miller's most impressive achievement is directing her cast full of stars into an ensemble, as Maria Bello, Julianne Moore, Winona Ryder, and (especially) Keanu Reeves all deliver wonderful supporting performances that serve the film, rather than their own careers. For a change, none of the performers seem to be auditioning for an Academy Award, though it would be a shame if Wright Penn and Miller did not receive nominations. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee taunts us with the benevolent hope that our personal anxieties might dissipate if we could find the courage to expose them to the world.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Screen Media
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary with Robin Wright and writer/director Rebecca Miller; Interviews with Robin Wright, Alan Arkin, and Blake Lively

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robin Wright Pippa Lee
Blake Lively Young Pippa
Alan Arkin Herb Lee
Keanu Reeves Chris Nadeau
Maria Bello Suky Sarkissian
Zoe Kazan Grace Lee
Winona Ryder Sandra Dulles
Mike Binder Sam Shapiro
Monica Bellucci Gigi Lee
Ryan McDonald Ben Lee
Julianne Moore Kat
Shirley Knight Dot
Tim Guinee Actor
Robin Weigert Actor

Technical Credits
Rebecca Miller Director,Screenwriter
Robert Bevan Executive Producer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Jean Luc De Fanti Executive Producer
Jill Footlick Executive Producer
Dede Gardner Producer
Warren T. Goz Executive Producer
Sabine Hoffman Editor
Samantha Horley Executive Producer
Jeremy Kleiner Executive Producer
Jennifer Von Mayrhauser Costumes/Costume Designer
Stewart McMichael Executive Producer
Cyril Megret Executive Producer
Brad Pitt Executive Producer
Jeff Pullman Sound Mixer
Declan Quinn Cinematographer
Michael Rohatyn Score Composer
Jeff Sagansky Executive Producer
Michael Shaw Production Designer
Lemore Syvan Producer
John M. Tyson Asst. Director

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