Landline Screen 4 articles



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  • At its best, Landline is a savvy, saucy evocation of the manners and mores of a certain specific strain of the East Coast haute bourgeoisie at a very specific time. The script nails the more relaxed -- some might say just lax -- parenting of a generation that used to take their infants clubbing with them at Studio 54... Unfortunately, it’s as if something were off in the calibration that slowly leaks out the comic atmosphere from too many scenes.

  • The director, Gillian Robespierre, who co-wrote the script with Elisabeth Holm, keeps the action moving with rapid-fire dialogue and a sprinkle of time-capsule references; the actors fling themselves with forced charm into their narrowly defined roles, and Robespierre juggles the story lines with a bland vigor that lacks any observational, analytical, or symbolic dimension.

  • Robespierre improves on her debut in almost every way... What sets the film apart is how adroitly Robespierre manages to undercut expectation, often crafting scenes that head in one direction, only to have them pivot—either in tone or intensity—in surprising and wholly satisfying ways. Not everything lands, but the thorny family dynamic is what needs to resonate, a task for which the superb ensemble cast proves more than capable.

  • Landline, the sure-footed follow-up to Obvious Child from Brooklyn-based co-writers Gillian Robespierre and Liz Holm, opens with a not-so-hot sex scene in the woods of upstate New York... Whereas Obvious Child belonged entirely to Jenny Slate, Landline is a well-balanced ensemble piece that grants equal weight to all three of its inextricably linked leading ladies: Dana, Ali, and their mother, Pat, played by the always great Edie Falco.

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