GardenState, released summer 2004, is an independent film from writer/director/actor ZachBraff? of Scrubs fame. Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a struggling, anti-depressant-laden actor who returns home to New Jersey when his mother dies. While there he meets Samantha, played by NataliePortman? (of AttackOfTheClones infamy). An interesting mix of drama and comedy follows.


RichardGarfinkel: So I'd been looking forward to this movie for months after stumbling across the trailer on Apple's website. I was not disappointed (would I make this page if I had been?). The movie is incredibly brilliant, especially given the rookie status of its writer and director. The dialogue is remarkable in its honesty. It never feels forced or inappropriate, and while part of this is due to its brilliant cast, much credit must be given to the writer. Speaking of the cast, Portman gives a truly amazing performance. She's incredibly moving from start to finish. As for the cinematography, there are some amazingly beautiful shots, impressive given the setting of New Jersey. The soundtrack is also perfectly chosen (and I now own it, see me or the network if you'd like a copy), and where in other movies some songs take away from the effect of a scene, every song in GardenState is perfectly chosen so that it accentuates and builds onto the scene. Of particular note are The Only Living Boy in New York by SimonAndGarfunkel? and Frou Frou's Let Go. Seriously, go see this movie. Hell, I'll take you.

ConorMcNassar: I really enjoyed this film as well, and with its imminent DVD release, I intend to make it a prized part of my permanent collection. I'd known Braff as a solid (and hilarious) actor on Scrubs, but to see him make such an inspired film was a real confirmation of the diversity of his gifts. I can only hope GardenState isn't a fluke, and that Braff's next film will be as unique and memorable as this one. (And I must agree with Richard, Portman's performance was extremely magnetic and winsome! Mwaha!)

AlexBobbs agrees that Natalie Portman's performance was great. Unfortunately, that was the only thing he enjoyed in the entire movie. OK, I guess the dialogue about the knives was kinda funny. That's about it.


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Last edited March 24, 2006 11:37 (diff)