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Then She Found Me
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Helen Hunt

Written By:
Alice Arlen, Victor Levin, Helen Hunt, Elinor Lipman

Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Lynn Cohen, Ben Shenkman, Chris Chalk, Brother Eden Douglas, Audrey Elizabeth Fafard, John Benjamin Hickey, Rachel Konstantin, Andy Miller, Maggie Siff, Schuster Vance, Adrianna Bremont, Tommy Nelson, Floanne Ankah, Jonathan Roumie, Daisy Tahan, Geneva Carr, Cherise Boothe, David Callegati, Stacie Linardos, Salman Rushdie, Rabbi Kenneth Stern

Then She Found Me (2007)
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Movie Review by DameAlys
May 12th, 2008

Helen Hunt--Well Done You!

Helen Hunt polishes Elinor Lipman's rough diamond of a first novel (1990) to gemlike luster in an auspicious directorial debut, and the all-star cast, in her capable hands, melds into an economic character ensemble. Bette Midler's glam tawdriness, Colin Firth's Everyman-frumpishness, and Matthew Broderick's dog-eared, boyish immaturity all strike perfect notes for their characters. Hunt herself is spot-on as the put-upon, aging adoptee who just won't give up on dreams of motherhood and love.

Hunt is less adept with her secondary characters. John Benjamin Hickey, for example,as Midler's producer, seems a bit lost in the plot. Ben Shenkman, as Hunt's brother, fares better, though his character's development remains potential rather than actual. However, Salmon Rushdie, as Hunt's obstetrician, is subtle and effective in a small role. And Lynn Cohen, appearing briefly as Hunt's adoptive mother, sounds extraordinary depths of emotion in her finely nuanced performance, largely dependent on facial expression alone.

Hunt in fact makes liberal use of close-ups to foreground all the principal characters' emotional responses. She's interested in what people's eyes say, beyond their words. This gives the film a sort of raw quality that some viewers may find uncomfortable. Hunt destroys the usually comfortable separation between screen action and audience, making us feel the immediacy of every character's confusion, fear, pain, and sense of betrayal. In this sense, Then She Found Me mimics the best aspects of live theater. And Hunt's shattering, honest performance, devoid of any taint of sentimentality, evokes a genuine, sympathetic audience response.

As a dramatic character actor, Helen Hunt seems finer in every successive role. With this first trial of her directorial talents, she demonstrates she is potentially a serious player in promoting that much-neglected genre, the women's film.

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