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Genre: Drama
Starring: Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Sarah Steele, Ann Gulibert, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Ann Guilbert
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Rating: M18 (Nudity And Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2010




- Outtakes
- Behind The Scenes Of Please Give
- Q&A With Director Nicole Holofcener


Languages: English/Thai/French
Subtitles: English/Korean/Thai/
Mandarin Traditional/French/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




Kate and Alex (Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt) own a successful Manhattan furniture store, reselling mid-century modern treasures purchased from the estates of the newly deceased. Wanting to enlarge and remodel the apartment where they live with their acne-ridden teenage daughter Abby (Sarah Steele), they've bought the unit neighboring their own. But before they can expand their home, they must wait for the current tenant - miserable, 91-year-old Andra (Ann Guilbert), to die.

As Kate's family gets to know Andra and the granddaughters who look after her (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet), animosity, infidelity, friendship, and empathy play out with sharp humor and pathos. "Please Give" is writer/director Nicole Holofcener's perceptive - and painfully funny - take on modern life's contradictions, good intentions and shaky moral bearings.


If there is one thing that defines the lives that you and I lead, it would be the relationships we have with people around us – from the ones we hold dear to our hearts, to the acquaintances who happen to chance upon our lives, to those whom you truly detest and do not want to have any affiliations to. And it is such relationships that inspire the greatest screenplays in films. Here we have a simple and seemingly unimportant setup of a few characters who cross each others’ paths in New York City, but the result of viewing this Nicole Holofcener directed feature is a satisfying one.

In the hustle and bustle of the city, two families are put in the spotlight as viewers join in their journey of managing a marriage, the parenthood of a teenager, and the caretaking of a senior citizen. A couple owns a store selling modern furniture trying to live with the guilt from the profits they get from the used furniture. A teenage daughter with acne problem. An elderly grandmother who will not move out of an apartment until she dies. Two granddaughters with problems of their own. The web of relationships is weaved intricately in Holofcener’s screenplay without tinted judgements.

The director writer has her cast to thank for this engaging 90 minute film. Catherine Keener plays the woman who takes on volunteer jobs and donating money to the homeless as a desperate attempt to come to terms how she makes money on a daily basis. The always reliable actress brings this conflicted character to life with her credible acting. Oliver Platt plays her husband, a man who is going through some serious middle age crisis, and he manages to have viewers empathize with him. The radiant Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet play the two granddaughters with gusto and zest – two modern women who have to catch up with the times, whether they like it or not. Ann Guilbert and Sarah Steele round up the ensemble piece with their interesting portrayal of a dying grandmother and a angst ridden teenager.

Holofcener knows better not to create caricatured stereotypes in her film. She almost effortlessly directed her actors to look like people around you and me, so much so that we feel like we are listening on a fellow train commuter’s life story as the film progresses. This results in a reflective and thoughtful film which has us trying to make sense of our own lives, regardless of which stage they are at.


This Code 3 DVD contains some bonus features which allow you to better understand the making of this film which was never shown on local screens. The 12 minute Behind the Scenes of Please Give has the cast and crew members talking about what the screenplay meant to them, and how they portrayed the roles they were cast in. Four minutes of Outtakes show you the funny NG takes of the film, while eight minutes of Q & A with Nicole Holofcener gives you an insight of how the script came about. A Theatrical Trailer is also included in the disc.


There is nothing to complain about the movie's visual transfer, and you can choose to watch the feature in English, French and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.



Review by John Li

Posted on 12 December 2010


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

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. 2012 [Blu-Ray]

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. Terminator Salvation [Blu Ray]

. Obsessed

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. Angels & Demons [Blu Ray]

. National Geographic: Sea Monsters [Blu Ray]

. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children [Blu Ray]

. Paul Blart Mall Cop

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. Cadillac Records

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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