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Union Square – directed by Nancy Savoca, written by Nancy Savoca and Mary Tobler

Union Square - directed by Nancy Savoca, written by Nancy Savoca and Mary Tobler

A set of sisters in crisis are on display in Nancy Savoca’s long awaited return – Union Square. Mira Sorvino plays Lucy, a hot mess of a woman who seems bizarrely out of control for an adult. She’s one of those characters that when you see her first on screen you cringe — she wears completely inappropriate clothes for someone her age and causes scenes all over the place.

She winds up on the doorstep of her estranged sister Jenny (Tammy Blanchard) who is her complete opposite. Where Lucy is a whirlwind, Jenny is restrained. You can see immediately why they don’t get along. Lucy is everything Jenny is running from. But as Jenny ran from her upbringing, she ran from herself and Lucy is a stark reminder of who she really is.  Her sister’s arrival causes her to reckon with the decisions she made in how she deals with her past and and how she has cut off a piece of herself.

The movie says no matter how much you separate yourself from your family and upbringing, they are still with you and you better deal with it. Tammy Blanchard gives a very quiet and beautiful performance as Jenny. It’s so hard to play opposite a person who is out of control and over the top grasping for ways to hang on, but Blanchard sticks with it and really pulls it off. 

I warn you it will take a couple of minutes to get used to the over the top performance of Mira Sorvino, but it is worth it.  She sucks you in and I came out of the film really liking it.

(FYI- I saw the film last fall at the Toronto Film Festival)

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