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The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

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Director  Rebecca Miller
Music director  Michael Rohatyn
Country  United States
6.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language  English
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee movie poster

Release date  February 9, 2009 (2009-02-09) (Berlin International Film Festival) November 27, 2009 (2009-11-27) (United States)
Writer  Rebecca Miller (screenplay), Rebecca Miller (book)
Initial release  July 10, 2009 (United Kingdom)
Initial DVD release  March 17, 2010 (Argentina)
Cast  Robin Wright (Pippa Lee (as Robin Wright Penn)), Alan Arkin (Herb Lee), Keanu Reeves (Chris Nadeau), Julianne Moore (Kat), Winona Ryder (Sandra Dulles), Mike Binder (Sam Shapiro)
Similar movies  Just Go With It, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Just Married, Evan Almighty, Little Manhattan, The Big Wedding
Tagline  She lived many lives - except her own.

The private lives of pippa lee trailer

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a 2009 American drama film written and directed by Rebecca Miller. The screenplay is based on her novel of the same title. The film premiered on February 9, 2009, at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival and was shown at the Sydney Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival before opening in the United Kingdom on July 10. Following a showing at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was limited released in the United States on November 27, 2009.


The Private Lives of Pippa Lee movie scenes

The private lives of pippa lee movie trailer


The Private Lives of Pippa Lee movie scenes

The film chronicles the life of a woman named Pippa Lee (Robin Wright), with flashbacks to her tumultuous past. Pippa Sarkissian (Blake Lively) was the youngest child and only girl in her large Christian family. Her mother Suky (Maria Bello) was a neurotic mother with an obsessive fixation on her daughter's looks. By her teen years, Pippa discovers that her mother takes amphetamines in order to self-medicate her vast mood swings. She has a confrontation with her mother by taking drugs that results in Pippa leaving home and moving in with her aunt and roommate, who are in a lesbian relationship. After a time, the aunt discovers Pippa participating in erotic photo sessions with the roommate and her friends and Pippa is banished from that apartment and goes on to live a bohemian life of drugs and working as an exotic dancer. On a weekend jaunt with like-minded friends, she meets a charismatic publisher named Herb Lee who is 30 years older than she is and a romance develops between the young woman and the older man. The couple marry, have two children and later move into a retirement home in Connecticut. Through her marriage, Pippa has become the "perfect wife": loving, supportive, everything to everyone and no one to herself. The couple grow apart; Herb has an affair with one of Pippa's friends and middle-aged Pippa has encounters with a younger man named Chris. After Herb dies from a heart attack, Pippa finally breaks with her life of subservience and refuses to set up the burial, leaving the details to her children. The film ends with Pippa driving off with Chris.


The Private Lives of Pippa Lee wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters3588907p358

  • Robin Wright as Pippa Lee
  • Blake Lively as Young Pippa
  • Alan Arkin as Herb Lee
  • Keanu Reeves as Chris Nadeau
  • Maria Bello as Suky Sarkissian
  • Zoe Kazan as Grace Lee
  • Winona Ryder as Sandra Dulles
  • Mike Binder as Sam Shapiro
  • Monica Bellucci as Gigi Lee
  • Ryan McDonald as Ben Lee
  • Julianne Moore as Kat
  • Shirley Knight as Dot
  • Robin Weigert as Trish
  • Production

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Movie Poster 6 of 6 IMP Awards

    The film was shot on location in Danbury, New Milford, Stamford, Newtown, and Southbury.

    Critical response

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Movie Poster 2 of 6 IMP Awards

    The film is rated 67% 'Fresh' on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews. David Gritten of The Telegraph observed:

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Picture of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

    "Buttressed by a formidable cast . . . Miller navigates her story between sharp satire, dark comedy and wrenching drama. Pippa feels like a character from films of an earlier vintage, including Diary of a Mad Housewife and The Graduate; however she is less of a rebel than "Housewife's" protagonist and more non-conformist than Mrs. Robinson. Hints and traces of a playful, late 1960s mood abound. Yet Miller's film is a triumph. Uniformly well acted, it boasts a psychologically knowing script, clearly written by a smart, assertive human being rather than a software programme."

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller

    Philip French of The Observer said, "The humour is forced, the shocking revelations too sudden and not altogether convincing, but it's enjoyable in an uninvolving way."

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee The Private Lives of Pippa Lee 2009 Official Trailer YouTube

    Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian rated the film two out of five stars, calling it a "hugely overegged pudding of a film," "indulgent," "complacent," and "a film that is very pleased with itself."

    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee Official UK and Ireland Film Website

    Trevor Johnston of Time Out London rated the film three out of five stars and commented:

    "No challenge to surmise where all this is heading, but there are pleasures to be had while it takes the scenic route. With the story structure working backwards and forwards at the same time, the lack of tension is no surprise, nor does Miller help herself by flitting through a variety of moods, from period satire, whimsical imagining and character comedy to more sinewy drama. On a scene-by-scene basis, though, it’s classily effective, mainly because of Wright Penn’s skill in nailing the precise tenor of every moment. She’s a great actress, and a subtle one, too. Anyone who can wrestle scenes away from a lovably grouchy Alan Arkin must be on top of their game."

    Hannah Forbes Black from Channel 4 rated the film 2½ out of five stars, calling it a "soft-focus, chocolate-box fairytale." She continued:

    "The whole thing is vaguely reminiscent of post-war domestic dramas aimed at a daytime audience of housewives – like a photo-negative of Brief Encounter ... Miller's self-adapted script is no more strained and compromised than the average book-to-film adaptation, but one wishes that she'd seized this amazing opportunity to take liberties with her own work ... Toured rapidly around Pippa's life, we can see the outline of the traumas and choices that have shaped her personality, but the film doesn't seem to know what it wants to say about any of it."

    Darren Amner of Eye For Film rated it three out of five stars and called the script "very wry, funny and emotionally charged."

    Peter Brunette of The Hollywood Reporter called it "the kind of film that most critics desperately want to like" and added:

    "Unfortunately, writer-director Rebecca Miller's script tries so hard to be nervous and edgy that it ultimately succeeds only in making its viewers nervous and edgy. It's as though Miller threw a really loud party for all her Hollywood friends, but forgot to invite the audience ... The acting is top-notch (if consistently over-the-top) and the direction is perky (not to say frenzied), but the script is just immensely too much of a good thing. Virtually every character in the film, and virtually everything they say, is so self-consciously quirky that viewers quickly start wincing when they should be laughing or crying ... The film's basic structure is to alternate between Pippa's present-day life as a suburban Mom and her wild youth, but the transitions are often awkward and the polar opposite moods of each part tend to work against rather than reinforce each other. The ultimate intent of the film seems to be to make some honest points about seeking one's own happiness rather than living for the sake of others, but it also wants to be outrageous and outrageously funny at the same time, and the clash of tones is fatal."

    Alissa Simon of Variety noted:

    "Cardboard characters and severe problems of tone fatally flaw the awkward satirical relationship drama [that] feels as schizophrenic as its eponymous heroine ... While the film marks a change of pace from the intense seriousness of Miller’s earlier work, she never finds the dark comic edge that would make Pippa more satisfying viewing. Indeed, she never sustains any tone at all. The dialogue teeters from flat comedy to wince-worthy whimsy, with detours through blithe and earnest. Visual style, too, is all over the place ... Period music does a better job of evoking the era than the laughable costumes, hair and makeup."


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