The Meyerowitz Stories

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)[3][4] is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Noah Baumbach. The film stars Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel and Emma Thompson, and follows a group of dysfunctional adult siblings trying to live in the shadow of their father.

The Meyerowitz Stories
(New and Selected)
The Meyerowitz Stories.png
Film release poster
Directed byNoah Baumbach
Produced by
Written byNoah Baumbach
Starring
Music byRandy Newman
CinematographyRobbie Ryan
Edited byJennifer Lame
Production
company
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • May 21, 2017 (2017-05-21) (Cannes)
  • October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$11.4 million[1]
Box office~$20,000[2]

The Meyerowitz Stories was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section and also won the Palm Dog award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[4][5][6] It received positive reviews from critics, who praised Baumbach's script and direction as well as the performances, with Sandler especially singled out for praise. It was released in theaters and on streaming by Netflix on October 13, 2017.

The film was the second Netflix film competing at Cannes, along with Okja, which caused a clash with the jury president Pedro Almodóvar, who sided with the opinion that Cannes Film Festival films should be made for big screens, not online streaming.[7] In 2017, the Cannes Film Festival announced a new rule, which requires a film competing at Cannes to "commit itself to being distributed in French movie theatres". A French law mandates that films cannot be shown on streaming services for 36 months after their theatrical release, effectively blocking Netflix films from future festivals.[8]

PlotEdit

After separating from his wife, unemployed Danny Meyerowitz (Adam Sandler) moves in with father Harold (Dustin Hoffman), a retired Bard College art professor and sculptor, and his third wife, Maureen (Emma Thompson), a pleasant if foggy alcoholic. Danny has a younger sister, Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), and they have a younger half-brother, Matthew (Ben Stiller). Danny is close to his daughter, Eliza (Grace Van Patten), who is starting college at Bard as a film student. Eliza shows one of her sexually provocative films to her family, who try hard not to show they are taken aback and instead compliment its energy and production values. Some of Harold's work has been selected as part of a faculty group show at Bard, but Harold refuses to be part of a group show. Danny and Harold attend the MoMA retrospective of a friend and contemporary of Harold's, the more successful L.J. Shapiro (Judd Hirsch). There neither father nor son feels comfortable; Harold is stung by signs that the art world has forgotten him and chooses to literally run away down the street. Danny meets Shapiro's daughter, his childhood friend Loretta (Rebecca Miller), but is forced to leave to chase after Harold.

Harold's younger son Matthew, a successful financial advisor to rock stars on the other side of the continent in Los Angeles, is in New York on business and meets Harold for lunch with an accountant friend. They try to counsel Harold to sell his Manhattan home and the sculpture stored there, since Harold and Maureen can barely pay the townhouse's utilities. Harold tells them that whether to sell the house will be a private family decision and stalks out. At a third restaurant he criticizes the prices, but orders lavishly once Matthew says he'll pay. Soon he decides he has been insulted and robbed as well, and the rapidly regressing Matthew is inveigled into another scene involving running, chasing and embarrassment. The two bond slightly in self-righteous indignation. That evening they pay a visit to Matthew's mother, Harold's second wife Julia (Candice Bergen), who has since married a man named Cody, a wealthy philistine. Julia tells Harold and Matthew that she is sorry she was not a better mother to Harold's three children; her directness makes them very uncomfortable and they can't leave fast enough. Matthew resents Harold for his preference for a life of art over money. "I beat you!", he screams at his father's departing Volvo.

Harold is diagnosed with a chronic subdural hematoma. He enters hospital, where as the days pass his children learn to manage his care themselves, after first leaning on Harold's doctor and nurse to take that responsibility. Outside the hospital Jean tells her brothers that the family friend who happens to be visiting Harold at the moment exposed himself and masturbated in front of her when she was a child. Matthew and Danny let her walk away from them, then attack the friend's car with mounting exhilaration. At Bard to represent their father at the faculty group show, Matthew and Danny get into a fight, of sorts, on the quad; later, bloody and crying, each makes drug-addled remarks in Harold's place, mostly about themselves, Matthew ends up breaking down emotionally during his speech. As Harold convalesces at Maureen's place in the country (the townhouse having been sold, despite Matthew's change of heart), it dawns on Matthew and Harold that Harold's favorite sculpture "Matthew", a lifelong object of resentment for Danny and Jean, was probably based on his feelings for the child Danny. Danny, who up to now has been solicitous toward his father, refuses to care for him while Maureen is away and accepts his brother's offer of a trip to California, but he forgives him for his past failures as a dad. On the way to the plane he meets Loretta, now single, and she suggests they go together to the screening of a film Eliza has made. In the basement of the Whitney Eliza uncovers the sculpture lent by her grandfather, long believed to have been lost.

CastEdit

  • Adam Sandler as Danny Meyerowitz, Harold's son. Currently unemployed and separated from his wife but musically gifted.
  • Ben Stiller as Matthew Meyerowitz, Danny's half-brother and Harold's son. A successful financier who lives across the country and is currently separated from his wife.
  • Dustin Hoffman as Harold Meyerowitz, a moderately successful sculptor and retired college professor. Has been married four times, although the first marriage was annulled.
  • Emma Thompson as Maureen, Harold's fourth wife, an alcoholic.
  • Elizabeth Marvel as Jean Meyerowitz, Danny's sister and Matthew's half-sister. Harold's daughter. Works for Xerox.
  • Grace Van Patten as Eliza Meyerowitz, Danny's daughter. A film student who makes provocative short films.
  • Candice Bergen as Julia, Harold's third wife and Matthew's mother.
  • Adam Driver as Randy, one of Matthew's clients.
  • Judd Hirsch as L.J. Shapiro, a successful artist and Harold's old friend.
  • Rebecca Miller as Loretta Shapiro, L.J.'s daughter.
  • Matthew Shear as Gabe, Matthew's colleague.

ProductionEdit

Principal photography on the film began on March 7, 2016 in New York City.[9][10][11] Hospital footage was filmed at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York and Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. The scenes of Bard College were actually filmed at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. Production concluded on May 9, 2016.[12]

During production, the film was known by the working title Yeh Din Ka Kissa, "The Tale of This Day" in Hindi.[13]

ReleaseEdit

 
Adam Sandler garnered acclaim for his performance, with many critics calling it one of the best of his career.

In April 2017, Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film.[14] It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2017,[15] where it received a four-minute standing ovation.[16]

The film was released in select theaters and streaming on Netflix on October 13, 2017.[17]

Although Netflix does not publicly disclose box office results of its films, IndieWire estimated that The Meyerowitz Stories made around $20,000 in its opening weekend, a figure the site noted as impressive considering it was released simultaneously streaming.[2]

Critical responseEdit

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 181 reviews, and an average rating of 7.66/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) observes the family dynamic through writer-director Noah Baumbach's bittersweet lens and the impressive efforts of a remarkable cast."[18] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19]

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and praised the cast and script, saying: "They’re a smart and sophisticated and relatively privileged bunch, but they’re miserable and ridiculous, which makes for some poignant insights and some sharp comedy. We enjoy the Meyerowitz clan, even as we praise the heavens we’re not like them and we don’t live next door to any of ’em."[20] Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers also gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "Noah Baumbach's funny, literate story gives Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller plum roles – and may be the best thing he's ever done."[21]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, calling it the best Netflix film to date and praising Sandler's performance, writing: "With no shtick to fall back on, Sandler is forced to act, and it’s a glorious thing to watch – even for those fans who like him best in perpetual man-child mode (don’t worry: the character is a full-grown variation on that familiar Sandler prototype)."[22] Other critics were equal with their praise of Sandler, with various outlets calling his performance a "triumph," "miraculously great" and that "it's time to admit that Adam Sandler is actually a good actor."[23]

AccoladesEdit

 
Dustin Hoffman, Noah Baumbach, Emma Thompson, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler at the Cannes Film Festival screening of The Meyerowitz Stories in 2017
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2017 Boston Society of Film Critics Best Cast The cast of The Meyerowitz Stories Won [24]
2017 Cannes Film Festival Palme D'Or Noah Baumbach Nominated [25]
Palm Dog Award Einstein Won [26]
2018 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Actor in a Comedy Adam Sandler Nominated [27]
2018 Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Emma Thompson Nominated [28]
2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Actor Adam Sandler Nominated [29]
2017 Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Comedy Award Adam Sandler Won [30]
2018 Humanitas Prize Feature – Comedy Noah Baumbach Nominated [31]
2018 Golden Tomato Awards Best Comedy Movie 2017 The Meyerowitz Stories 5th Place [32]
2018 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Dustin Hoffman Nominated [33]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "FILM TAX CREDIT – QUARTERLY REPORT - CALENDAR YEAR 2018: THIRD QUARTER" (PDF). New York State: 6. September 30, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Brueggemann, Tom (October 15, 2017). "'Marshall' Origin Myth Leads Weak Biopics at Specialty Box Office". IndieWire. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (July 13, 2016). "Ben Stiller to Star in Mike White's Brad's Status". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Nath, Rhea. "The Cannes Palm Dog for 2017 is Bruno from 'The Meyerowitz Stories'". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Alvarez, Joe; Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara (May 21, 2017). "The Meyerowitz Stories Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Alvarez, Joe; Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara (May 11, 2017). "Cannes Film Festival New Rule That Will Block Netflix Films From Participating". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Raup, Jordan (March 8, 2016). "Noah Baumbach Begins Shooting Yen Din Ka Kissa Starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and More". thefilmstage.com. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Adam Sandler spotted filming scenes for Noah Baumbach's new film in bla bla NYC". OLV. March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  11. ^ "Mystery Noah Baumbach project filming this week on a street near you". evgrieve.com. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "On the Set for 5/13/16: Paul Rudd Starts Rolling on 'An Ideal Home', Gal Gadot Wraps Shooting on 'Wonder Woman'". SSNInsider.com. May 13, 2016. Archived from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Borges, Andre (2016-03-16). "Ben Stiller And Adam Sandler's New English Movie Has A Hindi Title For Some Reason". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  14. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy; Evans, Greg (April 13, 2017). "Cannes Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, Noah Baumbach, 'Twin Peaks'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  15. ^ A Orlova, Tamara; Alvarez, Joe (May 21, 2017). "The Meyerowitz Stories Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Bort, Ryan (May 25, 2017). "Adam Sandler Getting Oscar Buzz After Cannes Standing Ovation". Newsweek. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  17. ^ Hughes, William (August 16, 2017). "See Adam Sandler in an actual good movie in the first trailer for The Meyerowitz Stories". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  20. ^ Roeper, Richard (October 13, 2017). "The Meyerowitz Stories': Playing normal again, Sandler pulls it off". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  21. ^ Travers, Peter (October 10, 2017). "'The Meyerowitz Stories' Review: All-Star Family Dramedy Is Flat-Out Brilliant". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  22. ^ Debruge, Peter (May 21, 2017). "Cannes Film Review: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  23. ^ Cea, Max (October 12, 2017). "Noah Baumbach performs a miracle: Adam Sandler doesn't suck in 'The Meyerowitz Stories". Salon. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  24. ^ Stone, Sasha (December 10, 2017). "Boston Society of Film Critics Name Phantom Thread and Paul Thomas Anderson Best Film and Best Director". Awards Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  25. ^ "'The Meyerowitz Stories' First Look: Noah Baumbach and Adam Sandler Compete for the Palme d'Or". IndieWire. May 10, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  26. ^ Nath, Rhea (May 26, 2017). "The Cannes Palm Dog for 2017 is Bruno from 'The Meyerowitz Stories'". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  27. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 6, 2017). "'Shape of Water' Leads Critics' Choice Film Nominations". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  28. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5536736/awards?ref_=tt_awd
  29. ^ Erbland, Kate (October 19, 2017). "'Get Out' Leads 2017 Gotham Awards Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  30. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (October 30, 2017). "Hollywood Film Awards to Honor Adam Sandler, Director Joe Wright". The Hollywood Reporter.
  31. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 9, 2018). "Humanitas Prize Finalists Announced; Feature Awards Split Into 3 Categories". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  32. ^ "Golden Tomato Awards - Best of 2017". Rotten Tomatoes. January 3, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  33. ^ "IPA Reveals Noms for 22nd Satellite™ Awards, Plus Robert Legato for Tesla Award & Greta Gerwig as Auteur Recipient". International Press Academy. Retrieved November 29, 2017.

External linksEdit