Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beach House

Author(s): Connor Campbell
Location: Carrollton, Texas

“Beach House"

Directed by Alexander Payne
Written by Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne

Principal Cast:

Ellen Burstyn- Patsy Turner
Blythe Danner- Betsy Carroll
Bill Paxton- Eddie Turner
Frances McDormand- Susan Turner
Kevin Spacey- Pat Turner
Felicity Huffman- Jodi Turner
Jamie Bell- Michael Turner
Evan Rachel Wood- Katherine Turner
Paul Dano- Andrew Turner

Tagline: “Fear the Love”


Patsy- “When you’re getting the shrimp, make sure it’s gulf shrimp. I don’t want any of that Vietnamese crap.”
Andrew- “How do you know if it’s Vietnamese?”
Susan- “They have slanted eyes!”

Synopsis: Patsy Turner hasn’t talked to her children since their falling out do to an argument during their last family vacation to the gulf cost. Patsy was a heavy smoker and a racist. She remembered that vacation vividly. The house that Patsy stayed in was called the Blue Marlin, despite the fact that it was bright green. There was a gigantic room in the middle of the house, which was bordered by two bedrooms. On the right, Patsy’s son Pat, his wife Jodi & kids Katherine and Michael stayed. On the left, Patsy’s other son Eddie, his wife Susan & their son Andrew slept & Patsy and her dog Diego slept in the common room. The house was a dump, despite the fact that you could run laps in the shower. Susan was never well liked by Patsy, and desperately sought her approval. Patsy was an uptight woman, the kind that won’t let you sleep on the couch because it was too dangerous. She even made a curfew of 11:00 in fears that her grandchildren would be molested in the tiny town of Jamaica Beach, population 1,500. One night, while everybody was visiting with Betsy, Patsy’s younger sister who owned a house just down the street, Andrew decided he would stay there for a little while longer.

Andrew walked through the door at 11:10 and Patsy raised hell. She threw things across the room and screamed so loud the neighbors could hear. Then Andrew showed her his nipple=piercing and called her a bitch. All hell broke loose. When Katherine tried to defend her cousin, her own grandmother called her a bitch and went outside to smoke. She went through eight packs and then came back inside as if nothing had happened. The next morning when Patsy blew the air horn to wake everybody up, they were gone. Betsy explained that they left in the middle of the night. Patsy got in her car and had a melt down. She drove home and quietly went back to work. That was a year ago. Patsy has been excluded from every family event. She sold Diego and drew a bath. 10 minutes later she got in…with a toaster. She was at peace again.

What the press would say:

Ellen Burstyn gives a captivating performance as the bitter old Patsy Turner. Her portrayal is so spot on that the academy can’t ignore her. Blythe Danner gives a lovely performance as Betsy, Patsy’s polar opposite sister. Betsy in the wrong hands is just an awkward character that doesn’t belong, but Blythe brings warmth and makes her lovable. The film could not work without her. Bill Paxton is wonderful in this film and he and Kevin Spacey look eerily similar. Frances McDormand is wonderful as the sharp, intelligent Susan Turner. She is so believable and I see her 5th Oscar nod coming from this film. Felicity Huffman is also great and has a wonderful accent that is perfect for this role. The children are also spectacular. Paul Dano and Evan Rachel Wood give great performances as the rebellious children and Jamie Bell is great as the laid back child. Alexander Payne’s direction is sub=par. Payne and Taylor have done it again, from writing two of my favorite films, Election & Sideways, they have managed to write yet another masterpiece.

Best Picture
Best Director- Alexander Payne
Best Actress- Ellen Burstyn
Best Supporting Actor- Bill Paxton
Best Supporting Actor- Kevin Spacey
Best Supporting Actor- Paul Dano
Best Supporting Actor- Jamie Bell
Best Supporting Actress- Melinda Dillon
Best Supporting Actress- Frances McDormand
Best Supporting Actress- Felicity Huffman
Best Supporting Actress- Evan Rachel Wood
Best Original Screenplay

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