Love Liza 2002 (2002) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Following the unexplained suicide of his wife Liza, a web designer turns to gasoline fumes and remote-control airplanes while avoiding an inevitable conflict with his mother-in-law. Runtime: 90 mins Release Date: 30 Dec 2002
Beautiful, Sad, and a Little Bit Wacky (by mcnally)
I saw this film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. This is the feature directorial debut of actor Todd Louiso and yes, he talks and acts exactly like his character in High Fidelity . Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Wilson Joel, a man whose wife has committed suicide before the film begins. We follow Wilson as he tries to carry on, unable to open the suicide note she left for him, becoming addicted to sniffing gasoline fumes, and trying to make friends among radio-control car/boat/plane enthusiasts. If it sounds a bit wacky, it is. It's also beautiful and very very sad. Hoffman <more>
is a genius at playing lovable sad sacks, and he's even better than usual here, carrying the entire picture on his slumped shoulders. The wonderful Jack Kehler who played the artistic superintendent in The Big Lebowski provides excellent comic relief. Philip's brother Gordy Hoffman wrote the screenplay, and the film took four years to get made. Obviously a labour of love. A gorgeous melancholy soundtrack from Jim O'Rourke adds immeasurably to an already powerful film.
Love Liza is a not a movie for everyone. Its kind of slow but that is kind of the point. We meet Wilson Joel, beautifully portrayed by one of my favourite actors Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who has lost his wife, Liza. His wife has committed suicide, and our friend is seriously struggling with his loss. He finds Lizas suicide letter, and Wilson who has great problems solving his grief is unable to read the letter.I found this movie to be really good. Like I said, it's not a movie for everyone, but If you like movies that shows personal drama in a non-Hollywood fashion, you might like this <more>
one. Kathy Bates plays Lizas mother, an as always, she does a hell of a job.
Get a Whiff of this Off-Beat Drama! (by octavalvehandle)
"Love Liza" is an involving human drama about inescapable grief and guilt. It's also about radio controlled airplanes and the people that love them. That wacky combination alone makes it worth seeing, doesn't it? If you agree, you are like me and are looking for something different. If not, then go rent some garbage like "Mr. and Mrs Smith." The first time I watched this film, I was clueless as to which direction it was heading. Would it be a story of redemption? Or would the outcome be bleak?"Love Liza" pulled me into its goofy yet emotionally <more>
devastating story of despair through the end. By then, I was hanging on every word. The songs by Jim O'Rourke compliment the film's emotions nicely.I was annoyed that the packaging and promotions for the film suggest that it's comedy of some kind. It's almost sick to call this a comedy! The commentary of the writer and director also surprised me. Apparently, they think the film is a comedy too. Maybe I should listen to Spielberg's commentary on the "Schindler's List" DVD. Perhaps I'll be informed that it was made with laughter as its goal. In any case, Love Liza" is a must-experience film.
This is not your mother's film about death of a loved one (by darthmaus)
This is not 'Terms of Endearment'. This film does not offer answers, explanations, or resolution, and as such I found it to be a very effective portrayal of the aftermath of a suicide.It's not an enjoyable film to watch, but it's very much worthwhile. First off, the acting is fantastic. Philip Seymour Hoffman deserves all the raves he's getting for this role -- he's downright painful to watch. All of the supporting cast -- except for the mother-in-law portrayed by Kathy Bates, who is exhausted with her own grief -- brilliantly introduces nuances of discomfort. It's <more>
not overdone, but it's obvious that these characters are internally dealing with the question of how to deal with Hoffman's character Wilson, who has just suffered this terrible and shocking loss. The dialogue is consistently and realistically not natural, in keeping with the awkward position of the supporting characters and Wilson's deteriorating mental health.I have seen this film criticized because Wilson's position is *so* dreary, that it may seem over-the-top, unrealistic. But, really, the character's wife recently shot herself. What bright spots were such critics expecting in this character's life at this time? I believe the writing of the plot is realistic in this regard.Structurally, it's brave, risky, and effective. I felt alienated by the lack of explanation and resolution of Wilson's position. Not a positive emotion to walk out of a film with, but extremely powerful. The sparse soundtrack and the painfully sympathetic supporting characters all added to this feeling of alienation.
A dark look at the life of an unfortunate individual. (by elitisteloquence)
In short, this movie did precisely what it intended to do. After his spouse committs suicide, Hoffman's character finds himself on a dark journey of the heart. Depressed and hopeless, he turns to a dangerous drug to find solace. I have never seen grief portrayed as well as I have seen in this flick. If you allow yourself to become engaged with Mr. Hoffman's character, you will find yourself walking along in his slow, trudging shoes. You will find yourself struggling for rhyme, reason and redemption just like him. Some may argue that the character never evolves, or developes. That my <more>
It takes you to the nearest gas station (by stefant)
Again we see that, Philip Seymour Hoffman has never appeared in a bad movie, this one, he should have recieved an Oscar for, it is never boring though it´s not an action movie.It´s so dark and twisted and so amazingly funny.This is a must see for all movie fans though it´s absolutely not a mainstream picture.Lean backwards and enjoy. I gave it a 9 Imdb rating system
A guide to understanding grief (by StevePulaski)
Just two days ago, I was talking to a group of girls I know about one of the saddest films I've yet to see in my young life, which was the criminally underrated film The Mudge Boy, about a teenage boy grieving after the death of his mother and enduring untold hell along the way. Explaining the film in an admittedly disjointed manner, I could easily see why their eyebrows would raise at the idea of a male teenager finding comfort in wearing his deceased mother's wedding dress and even recognizing that the boy's only friend was a chicken. However, being that the film was about <more>
grieving and finding solace in the strangest things, one has to understand that if you yourself haven't been in a similar position - where something happened to someone you love and the only way you could cope with it would be by doing something abnormal - then it's understandable why such a thing prompts a reaction of confusion.Now I'm faced with Todd Louiso's Love Liza, a deeply upsetting picture that hits the same notes as The Mudge Boy, just in a manner far less mentally affecting for myself. That doesn't mean that Louiso hasn't a fascinating, however. At its core is a wonderful performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, showing vulnerability and disillusionment in raw form. I can compare this to his performance in the unseen Owning Mahowny, where Hoffman played a gambling addict who wound up embezzling over ten million dollars from a company he worked for. Hoffman was able to convey the character of Mahowny in such a way where when he wasn't gambling, he looked like an empty shell of a man, and when he was gambling, a lively soul you almost wanted to be around for luck.Hoffman, playing Wilson Joel in Love Liza, shows just the kind of emptiness when his character's wife dies that he did with Mahowny in Owning Mahowny when his character wasn't gambling. Shocked and deeply saddened by his wife's death, Wilson can't even bring himself to open the suicide note his wife left for him in a plain-white envelope, with his name written on the front. Instead, Wilson resorts to developing an insatiable addiction to huffing gasoline and feeding his newfound love for flying radio- controlled airplanes. With his short temper, hot-and-cold attitude, and unpredictable nature, Wilson successfully alienates all his friends and acquaintances, including his deceased wife's mother Mary Ann Kathy Bates . The only person who manages to get a few words out of Wilson is his brother-in-law Denny Jack Kehler , who is also growing increasingly tired of his brother's distant and offputting attitude.One can blame Wilson for his growing isolation from the world around him, but look at what the guy has after the death of his wife - no apparent financial security of any kind Wilson works at a low-level computer job that can't pay much more than barely-viable wages , he has no companionship one questions if he even did before his wife's death , and the only current mystery in his life is what his wife may have left in her suicide note, which he refuses to even open. Hoffman's performance is ultimately the reason to see Love Liza. Hoffman believed in an acting philosophy that was predicated off of realism and the reality of situations. He didn't believe that all his clothes he wore during the shoot should be ironed, or his hair properly combed, or lint picked off his apparel because that isn't how real life works. Many of us have apparent issues in our dress, hair, and attire, and, especially here, Hoffman conveys those little imperfections wonderfully. In addition, Hoffman's character's depression and sadness never feels like a put-on for emotional sentimentality or cheap, manipulative writing and acting tactics. Rather than seemingly trying to make us cry at every plot-twist and conflict the film brings, writer Gordy Hoffman makes the film a low-key character study, using realism in impact and personal trouble to communicate the depression the character is facing. Arguably, Gordy Hoffman's only misstep is that he doesn't give much indication as to what Wilson like prior to his wife's death, and because of that, the film leaves us in the dark in that respect.Love Liza still takes the cake for being a film that invites an outsider in to the idea of coping with a personal tragedy that affects the mind and body all in one instance. At its core is a troubling performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, a wise focus conducted by writer Gordy Hoffman, and an intelligent, intimate focus by director Louiso, making Love Liza an instant winner. Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates, and J.D. Walsh. Directed by: Todd Louiso.
I think PSH is wonderful in this movie and it really shows his incredible acting abilities in a very raw way.This is a tragic, tragic film that demonstrates the waves of destruction that emanate from suicide. It shows the decline of a ordinary man doing well to a self destructive huffing addict. You could watch this with your wife, if she can stay awake, and then you'll find yourselves discussing it for weeks.Don't expect to discover the moral, learn lessons or take away answers from this movie. The beauty of this movie is that it leaves more questions than answers. Its a movie that <more>
inspires thinking and a barrage of unanswered questions left in your head. Any movie that inspires so much thought after it is over is a real winner to me.
Though the movie seemed to lack something, Phillip Seymour Hoffman's magical performance will keep you glued to the set. I have always been a big fan of Hoffman's, but this movie shows the talent and skill this man holds as he becomes his character Wilson; a man who becomes a gasoline sniffing addict after his wife commits suicide. Throughout the movie, he holds the unopened letter his wife wrote him before her death, as he goes through life sniffing gasoline and picking up the hobby of flying remote controlled airplanes. Though it sounds odd, Hoffman holds you through the whole movie <more>
as the severely depressed Wilson, so much so that you just want to reach through your set and rescue him.