Judy Berlin review

Having won two awards (Best Director at Sundance and Cannes' Un Certain Regarde 1999), plus much critical praise in the States, you'd expect helmer Eric Mendelsohn's Judy Berlin to be the very model of a successful indie film - and you'd be right - except that, disappointingly, it's a well-used model, and there's no mould-breaking happening here.

We're presented with a solid, beautifully shot look at how a solar eclipse affects the lives of several disenfranchised suburbanites, but nothing here feels fresh. Especially annoying is Mendelsohn's resorting to irony and self-reference, which makes you wish he'd get on with it and cut the "you-should-make-a-film-of-this-story" dialogue.

Still, to his credit, he's bagged a wonderful cast. Sopranos regular Edie Falco shines as the live-wire Berlin, giving the movie some much needed heart, and a diverting comedy performance from the late Madeline Khan makes this enjoyable, if nothing special.

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