Natalie Portman Celebrity Pack (3 Discs) (Fullscreen, Widescreen) product details page

Natalie Portman Celebrity Pack (3 Discs) (Fullscreen, Widescreen)

Natalie Portman Celebrity Pack (3 Discs) (Fullscreen, Widescreen)
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$23.39 list: price $29.99 save $6.60 (22%)

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A sort of The Graduate-lite, the directorial debut of actor and former film-school student Zach Braff is a little too strident in its efforts to reach for cinematic relevance, but it's also ultimately a moving comedy drama that skillfully renders a generation's grudging acceptance of its own thwarted yearnings and subsequent frustration. Andrew Largeman (Braff) and his buddies are casual about everything -- death, drug abuse, rejection, love. Even their rage seems muted, spent, and running on fumes. Garden State asserts that such ennui has its yin and yang, that it allows for a certain bemused detachment from life, but that its price (disconnection from other humans) is probably too high. It's a marvelously self-assured tone and message, impressively aware from a first-time writer/director. Braff also displays great skill with his cast, eliciting superb performances from Natalie Portman and the reliable Peter Sarsgaard. Not to call it a perfect film: interesting characters appear once and then never again, for no particular reason other than injecting self-conscious quirkiness, and the style sometimes overwhelms the content as the filmmaker reaches, clumsy and ham-fisted, for auteur status with over-thought shots and techniques. There's enough substance in Garden State, however, to inspire confidence in Braff as a creative force and anticipation for his next project behind the camera. Karl Williams, All Movie Guide