The Girl in the Park (2007) - The Girl in the Park (2007) - User Reviews - IMDb
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A very solid, low budget Drama. It'll keep you wondering, and often fittingly uncomfortable.
callanvass17 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl in the Park, was a movie that intrigued me, as I came across it in the video store. It was pretty engrossing throughout, and the sadness that Sigourney Weaver displayed through the movie, saddened me. For me a lot of times, low-budget indie drama's like this, are better than big budgeted movies, that come from Hollywood. There better produced, and made. What I liked most about Girl In The Park, was that it never kept you fully satisfied. Enough to make you hope, but just enough, to keep that lingering doubt in the back of your mind, it really left me in an uncomfortable state, when all was said and done. You will feel for all the characters, in one way or another, and will be delighted by the chemistry of Sigourneyy and Kate Boswoth, it was kooky, and cute. The opening of the movie is quite impactive. We quickly see the agony of Sigourney's face, before the camera cuts away, to go to present time, it was a well done shot. It really left me thinking after it was over, which is why I'm not spoiling as much as I usually do, it's a movie you need to watch for yourself.

Performances. Sigourney Weaver gives an A worthy show here. Her performance is absolutely incredible at times. The anger she directs towards people, the vulnerability she has, and the constant fear in her eyes, absolutely astonished me. She is a broken down, aging woman, who has lost all sense of reality for the most part. It was a moving performance, that I am glad to have witnessed. Kate Bosworth is wonderful as the complexed, yet strangely likable Louise, who we can relate too. The unpredictability of her character, often frightened me, but I also felt big time for her. Alessandro Nivola is very good as Chris. He was a little cold at times, but understandably so, and gave a captivating show. Keri Russell is underused, but very solid, with what she had to do.

Bottom line. The Girl in the Park, is an underrated gem of a film. It hits all the right emotional notes, and left me quite floored when all was said and done. It has it's flaws, but for the most part, this is a very good film, that I recommend highly.

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lillambie22 November 2011
This movie is one that I have watched many times, often with a cup of tea. I'd say this movie is for those who want to watch something full of suspense, drama and questions.

I could re-watch this constantly yet for some I can see that it can be considered to be too 'slow' for certain audiences.

The movie was well done by the various actors and actresses and its obvious that a lot of research was prepared before the final publication of the movie - such as the emotions to do with bereavement, not knowing the truth and not being able to let go of the past.

It's well worth a watch!
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Excellent, non commercial little psych study
mysmaus5 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This was a very good, small scale film. Outstanding performances by Weaver & especially Bosworth. Watch it if you are in a mood to stay with a piece & be entertained by analyzing the motivation behind people's behavior. It is not a commercial piece, not your typical movie fare. Good for a rainy day to drop into a cinema and see this, you will be discussing it w/your friends for days afterward. Hope David Auburn does more movies, this is his first directorial try & he did very well. Especially liked the way he handled Sigourney Weaver's personality after her daughter was kidnapped, the panic attacks and inability to socialize are dead on. At the end, the viewer is pretty sure of the ending but the actual facts behind it are not as important as the relationships that the characters have forged. I read a review that argued Julia should have just asked Louise to show her a birthmark but that is totally missing the point. It's a very layered, very dense movie that some will immediately 'get' and others probably never will. It's not a 'chick-flick' but it's a very cerebral movie.
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The story of a woman's painful loss and how she copes, or doesn't.
kittygwright6 December 2009
What a surprise. Collipol's comments were right on. I guess people either hated this or loved it. I think it's really about how much we all want love fulfilled, how we cope with catastrophic loss, how far we are willing to go to fill that empty space, and how far the people who love us are willing to support us. Weaver made a wonderful transition from happy mom to a cold, disconnected woman, and back and forth again. Any woman with a "favorite child" or a personal and crippling loss can empathize - but I am astounded by the story and the performances.

The young woman who suckers Weaver is off-putting at first, an instant irritant, but by the end of the movie you really want her to love her new "mom" and you really want Weaver to have the daughter she never got to grow up with. It doesn't matter anymore whether she is or she isn't for reals, they become what they both want. Several scenes touched me so deeply I was stunned. It would have been so easy to make this a thriller, or maudlin, or predictable, but the director did not. It was engaging, mysterious, warm, frightening, very sad, sweet, and very deeply moving. The end was perfect; subtle and let you absorb it all on your own. I thoroughly enjoyed every performance - they all were extremely well thought out, well executed, beautifully written and they all added together for a delicate and meaningful story. Do it again! Please.
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A pretty competent drama
Argemaluco20 August 2009
Some people suppose that since I am a fan of cinema,I also gotta be a fan of theatre,but it is not like that.I do not hate the theatre and I appreciate all the effort coming from the scenic art,but for some reason,all the plays I went to see did not leave me very satisfied,because I felt on them that the playwrights thought that the the most important characteristic of theatre would be enough for compensating the various fails from their plays.The characteristic I am obviously talking about is the presence of actors on live.There is an undeniable energy which flows between interpreters and spectators,which makes the drama more immediate and the emotions more intense.What I want to say is that although the presence of the actors on live may make the experience more cathartic,many playwrights use that as an excuse for presenting weak and predictable stories.

The movie The Girl in the Park is based on a play,and maybe because of that I did not expect too much from it,because without the presence of the actors on live,I thought we would only have a weak story.Fortunately,that did not happen and I finished liking this movie pretty much.This movie represents the first work as a director from playwright David Auburn,who wrote the original play.He had already been involved on cinema,adapting one of his plays to the film Proof and writing the screenplay from The Lake House.And,most recently,he has had a pretty solid debut as a director with The Girl in the Park,at the same time he also made a good work as a screenwriter on it.

The Girl in the Park brought me a satisfactory and very interesting experience.The best element from it is definitely the excellent performance from Sigourney Weaver.She perfectly depicts the emotional evolution from her character,and she is absolutely involved on it.Kate Bosworth,Alessandro Nivola and Keri Russell also bring competent performances,although they feel a bit darkened by Weaver.And,although he is on a small role,the great David Rasche brings a detailed and solid performance.

The movie keeps a good tone and the story is always interesting.The fails I found on this movie are the following : on the one hand,some moments from the screenplay could have had more elaboration; and on the other hand,the ending feels a bit abrupt.

There have been various cases of playwrights who make very competent works on cinema on the directing and screen writing fields.Movies like Doubt,Yes and Titus are examples of that.The Girl in the Park is a new addition to that list,and in sight of it,I am definitely interested in watching more movies written and directed by Auburn.I recommend this movie,because I found it to be an entertaining and pretty interesting drama.
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A Mother's Despair
Chrysanthepop2 September 2011
David Auburn has created a tense psychological and emotionally engaging film in 'The Girl In The Park'. Traumatized by the disappearance of her three year old, sixteen years pass by but Julia still hasn't recovered from her loss. She has distanced herself from everyone she was once very close to and just couldn't find herself being able to connect with anyone. Until, she meets young drifter Louise, a girl in whom she seems to find what she has lost all those years. However, this continuing encounter may have some harmful consequences.

The synopsis may sound a little familiar and yet, when I attempting to predict what the next turn of events would be, I was thrown off with different twists and these aren't just twists that are there for the sake of surprise, they fit and flow very well with the story and add more layers. Auburns use of subtlety is remarkable. Whether, it's in his storytelling, execution, his actors performances and the overall look of the film, it is handled with care and great attention to detail. Music is used effectively and the cinematography is brilliant.

The writing is solid. The dialogues are simple but few words say a lot. Many argue that the subplots of the supporting characters weren't developed enough. That may be true but perhaps it adds more to Julia's story because she has shut herself away from everyone that she barely knows about them anymore. I still thought the minor characters were rich in character even though have had little screen time. None of them felt like clichés or tokens.

Sigourney Weaver deserves special mention. How she can look so convincing as a 30-something year old and a 50-something year old is incredible. I'm not only referring to the makeup (though this department certainly deserves credit) but Weaver's subtle change in mannerism, movement and body language really does make it look like almost twenty years have passed. This is easily one of the films that showcases her talent.

Kate Bosworth does a fine job of holding her own in the presence of Weaver. The way she downplays her part of a drifter who sees a chance in Julia and wants to belong is done with sincerity. Alessandro Nivola is quite good and Keri Russell is a delight to watch even though her appearance is limited.

With the lack of clichés and melodrama, the director's sincerity and the film's authentic look and performances, 'The Girl In The Park' is a refreshing and involving view.
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Good build up, weak ending...
Siamois24 August 2008
While Girl in the Park is never great, it manages to be a solid drama about the loss of a young child and its effect on a mother (Sigourney Weaver).

Everything here is well crafted but a little bland and formulaic. We meet tons of characters who have the seeds to provide good drama but many of them (The ex husband, the son, the romantic interest at the office, the daughter in law and her pregnancy) are left with unfinished business by the end of the movie, feeling like little more than plot points. As for Louise, for all the flashiness she offers, she brings very little to the table in the end.

In the end, you will feel you have spent a nice evening. The cast does a nice job. Sigourney Weaver gives some soul to her performance and Kate Bosworth is very well cast and provides some sparks and a nice contrast to Weaver.

It's a good movie, but not a great one. Some more development, some twists and turns in the second half of the movie would have considerably improved the movie. Instead, we're left with a cheap Hollywood ending, the catalyst of which is too dumb to even write down here.

Worth watching as a rental if you like dramas.
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In spite of mixed reviews, I think this is a really good movie, a character study of a woman who lost her young daughter.
TxMike15 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am a parent but have never lost a child. I would think it would be very hard, but even harder to have lost one not to death but to kidnapping. In that case you never really know what happened, you don't know if you will ever see the child again, you have no closure.

That is the theme of this movie. Sigourney Weaver is Julia Sandburg, happily married mother of two, and moonlights as a lounge singer. But one day at the park, when it was time to go, she turns her back just for a few seconds and then finds that her 3-year-old daughter Maggie is gone. She searches, frantically, everyone else has left, she cannot find her daughter.

The movie resumes 16 years later, she has returned to New York after some time working in Canada for a bank. We see that her marriage did not survive the loss of the child. Julia changed, she did not cope well at all. She was no longer the healthy, happy person her family knew before the incident.

In a chance meeting Julia comes upon Kate Bosworth as Louise who appears to be homeless. Louise tells her that she is from Michigan, needs money to get home, and Louise gives her $700. It all turns out to be a ruse, as Julia discovers quickly, but for some reason she takes Louise into her apartment, gives her an extra key, and tells her she can stay as long as she wants.

It seems that Julia is somehow hoping this is really her long-lost daughter Maggie. Even though she never verifies that (including not seeing a leg birthmark) she projects her motherhood on this young woman, and it helps bring her out of her grief and begin to get on with life. Including establishing a relationship again with her son and his new wife.

Her son is Alessandro Nivola as Chris. Her new daughter-in-law is Keri Russell as Celeste.

Good movie, Weaver is superb as usual. She even does her own singing (according to the credits) in a brief lounge episode early in the movie.
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Engaging psychodrama.
michaelRokeefe9 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A successful businesswoman(Sigourney Weaver)turns into a social cripple; haunted by the disappearance of her three-year-old daughter 15 years ago. Her cold attitude cost her her marriage and put a wedge between her and her grown son. A young woman(Kate Bosworth),in the need of a place to stay, is befriended because she brings back memories of the little girl long-lost in the park. The story is intense and evokes sympathy with bittersweet thoughts of hope. Weaver is outstanding as the long-grieving mother; and Bosworth is very convincing as the unstable woman-child. The finale holds you at the edge of your seat and gripped with anticipation. Strong in support are: Keri Russell, Alessandro Nivola, Elias Koteas and David Rasche.
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Kirpianuscus27 February 2018
It has few basic virtues. who does it special, against the low budget. first - it has a great story. who is more than a good one because each parent from public feels the posible if in its bitter nuances. second - it is a film of doubts. not the last - it has the chance of admirable actors, Sigourney Weaver giving a moving portrait . and not only she. it is a drama and, at first sigh, all could be familiar. but it is one of film proposing all the angles for discover the intensity of story. and that, maybe, does it real special.
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Just one small beef
shirley-mitchell27 February 2009
My only criticism of this film is in the casting of the son, Chris. He is shorter than Sigourney Weaver and this is genetically impossible. That said, all the actors did a great job. And just HOW did SW look so convincing as both a thirty and a fifty-year old? Some credit to the make up department, sure - but it was the subtle change in the set of her jaw, the rigidity of her body vs fluidity in the early scenes ... The fact that the secondary characters aroused curiosity added to the atmosphere - someone els has complained that their potential stories were not developed. But this was all part of Julia's withdrawal from the World, her loss of interest in anyone after she lost her child.
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Sigourney brings her A game
SnoopyStyle9 June 2014
Haunted by the disappearance of her 3 year old daughter 15 years ago, Julia Sandburg (Sigourney Weaver) can't find any joy even with his son Chris (Alessandro Nivola) and his fiancé Celeste (Keri Russell) being pregnant. She helps Louise (Kate Bosworth) when she steals a pair of sunglasses and gives her some money later on. Louise awakens something in Julia, but it is obvious that Louise can't be trusted. Julia feels a connection to Louise and it soon becomes a question of whether Julia is actually her child Maggie.

It's a slow moving indie. Sigourney Weaver brings her A game. Her performance keeps the attention in a tense understated manner. Kate Bosworth is well cast in this. She has a blend of innocence and vulnerability as well as something darker underneath. It's not certain what her true motives are most of the time. One can really see the pain on Weaver while not being able to pinpoint Bosworth's character. There is this uneasy tension throughout as Julia adopts the mother role to Louise. There are some missing scenes in this movie. My logic mind kept asking the movie to do a paternity test ala Maury.
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The changeling
dbdumonteil18 November 2009
Another movie which owes a lot to Sigourney Weaver's talent.She excels in portraying mothers with a strong guilty feeling (see "a map of the world" ).She is sadly unsupported by the rest of the cast ,but one must write that their caricatured bourgeois straight characters (particularly the daughter-in-law and Weaver's listless husband) throw the movie off balance.

All that concerns the mother ,desperately trying to recreate a dear one gone for a long time (when she was a little girl) ,is sometimes interesting.It does not renew the subject ,as old as the hills (Hitchcock's "Vertigo"(1958) ;Feyder's "Le Grand Jeu"(1934);Claude Miller's "Mortelle Randonnée" (1983) Losey's " secret Ceremony" (1968):Losey's movie depicting a "mother"/"daughter" relationship is similar to "the girl..." if we reverse the roles).

Best moment:Weaver thanking her family for welcoming "Maggie" .
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Leave this drivel alone!!!
therunner427 August 2009
I was really excited when I saw The Girl in the Park DVD on the shelf at my local video store. I really liked Keri Russell in Felicity and the story, about how a mother copes with the disappearance of her daughter looked interesting too. However, that was the last time I felt good about this movie. The script, while based on an intriguing premise, is slow and unrealistic. Sigourney Weaver as the mother and Kate Bosworth play flawed characters that are utterly unlike able. The scenes are drawn out and the one moment where there could have been some action is cut, leaving the events up to the audience's imagination. In fact too much of the movie is left to the audience and whilst I don't mind doing some of the work you expect the director and scriptwriter to do their parts too. My advice is, despite the stellar cast, leave this one alone, it is drivel!!!!
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Unbelievable overwrought drama
clewis266624 September 2009
I caught this movie on late night TV. It started quite promisingly with the gut-wrenching disappearance of Weaver's little daughter while playing in the park. But -- flash to sixteen years late -- mother is still going around bitter, crabbed and half-mad -- an impossible burden to her family, and everyone else. I am afraid I had no patience with her. Her son and daughter-in-law are supportive. Her ex has tried for years to get her out of her prolonged misery, but clearly she is content to stay engulfed in it. She then, as one of her weird behaviours, befriends a pretty little slut (Bosworth), who cons her out of her money, moves into her flat , and roundly abuses her hospitality mindlessly. It then gets worse, all totally unbelievable. Give it a miss.
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Beyond boring
polin-602-5114707 December 2009
After the first 20 minutes, this drivel moved from boring to the territory occupied by a pneumatic drill. I'd rather visit a dentist that offers no Novocain than sit through this.

The only reason to watch this through to the end is to be prepared with a pencil and paper and write down all people associated with this film and avoid further contact with their work if this is what they are dedicating their talents to. While the potential was there from the beginning to weave an interesting story, the story is bogged down with the characters. All the main characters were boring and morose. These were all supposed to be people with a tragedy in common. The real tragedy they had in common was that they all contributed to this film.

It amazes me that some reviewers found in this film "Oscar" performances. Did they mean Oscar Mayer? Definitely Baloney!
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Good acting can't save this irritating story
phd_travel28 August 2012
The story is partly annoying and unsatisfying. The characters aren't really endearing and don't evoke sympathy.

David Auburn has a gift for creating irritating painful scenarios and if that's the kind of drama you enjoy then this one may be perfect.

Sigourney Weaver is good at acting like a damaged person. Her face really showed the pain of a person who was suffered a life changing tragedy. Kate Bosworth plays a girl of the streets well but her character was so annoying I kept feeling "kick her out". Keri Russell's as the daughter in law was even too saintly.

Give this one a miss unless you want the opposite of feel good.
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