Subtle In Sintra (Film Thoughts: Frankie)

frankieIra Sachs is one of my favorite directors and his films ave always touched me, from ‘Love is Strange,’ to ‘Keep The Lights On’ to ‘Little Men.’  I wish I could say the same for ‘Frankie,’ his latest film. I had high hopes for it, for it stars Isabelle Hupert in the title role (Does she only make films with one word name titles ? From Elle to Greta and now Frankie)  Unfortunately, though, ‘Frankie’ is too subtle for me, and I am the queen of subtle.  Jupert plays a movie star named Françoise Crémont who assembles her family in picturesque Sintra, Portugal. ‘Frankie; as she is called, is dying from cancer, and she is trying to orchestrate her family’s lives after she passes. This situation, of course, lends to a whole range of emotions among her family members, as they deal with their own personal struggles. The ensemble cast around her is great, and I particularly liked Marisa Tomei as a woman unaware that she is being match-made by Frankie for her son. There’s not much drama in here – the situations are sparse and under-nuanced, and there were far too many characters for the audience to connect with except for Hupert’s Frankie.  I appreciated Sach’s genteel style, I just wish there were more substance.

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