Sunday, May 27, 2007

Adrienne Shelly's Sweet and Moving Waitress

It was an incredibly emotional experience watching WAITRESS over the weekend with a near sold out crowd in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is having a big weekend with a huge Beatles festival, a professional Volleyball tournament, and Wonderfest...add on to that the opening of the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and WAITRESS probably should have been playing to a near empty house. And yet there I was sitting in the most filled theater I have been in in a long time.
I am not going to write a full in depth review of WAITRESS, I just wanted to throw my two cents in in and recommend that anyone reading should throw support its way. WAITRESS is an incredibly moving and luminous tribute to it's writer, director and one of it's actors, the late and much missed Adrienne Shelly. I have posted before about my love for Adrienne and how much I have been looking forward to this film. WAITRESS more than lives up to my hopes and it closes out the career of one of the most talented Independent forces that American film had produced in the last twenty years with grace, style and dignity.
Starring Keri Russell, in an Oscar worthy performance, and featuring solid support from the likes of Cheryl Hines and a terrific Andy Griffith, WAITRESS filled the theater with a lot of laughs and not a small number of tears. WAITRESS is one of the best films of the year and the best film that Adrienne Shelly had the chance to write and direct in her tragically short life.

WAITRESS isn't perfect, a few music selections don't totally work and it maybe contains one too many side stories but regardless, this is a wonderfully warm tribute to life and the hope that we can all begin again. Of course with the tragic and monstrous murder of Adrienne Shelly so fresh it is hard to view the film without feeling anger and remorse, but time and the way we will be able to look at WAITRESS will prove to be very kind indeed.
WAITRESS was just the third feature length film Adrienne Shelly was able to complete, after the frenetic and underrated SUDDEN MANHATTAN and flawed but interesting I'LL TAKE YOU THERE. Just a week after Jane Campion lamented that she was the sole female director on the Cannes tribute panel, remember and pay tribute to an artist that was taken away from us all too soon and go see WAITRESS in a theater. Adrienne Shelly has left us with a finely crafted and truly independent vision that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. She is missed and her memory will not fade anytime soon.

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