Parents' Guide to

Frankie

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Uneven indie drama tackles mortality with fabulous cast.

Movie PG-13 2019 98 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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A fantastic international ensemble makes for a decent family drama in a gorgeous setting, but overall the movie is less impressive than its excellent cast. Beloved French actress Huppert is always worth watching; her acting is authentic, subtle, and expressive. Naturally it's believable that she could play a world-famous actor who's struggling with her mortality. As her devoted husband Jimmy, Gleeson is a study in anticipatory grief. He's a man who's not ready to fully accept that his wife isn't long for this world. Tomei's role, on the other hand, is the least compelling.

Frankie's central premise is promising: A dying legendary actress wants to bring together her eccentric blended family. But as the story (and the day) continues, the uneven screenplay meanders into several subplots that vary greatly in interest and importance. Ilene and Gary's relationship is a bore, Sylvia's marital angst is seemingly unjustified, Maya's coming-of-age vacation romance feels like it's in another film altogether, and Michel's presence with his Portuguese guide is unnecessary. On the other hand, Paul and Sylvia's step-sibling rivalry and odd chemistry could have been more deeply explored, as could Sylvia and Ian's inexplicably rocky marriage. Sachs' multigenerational films are always interesting, but this is one audiences will appreciate (for its cast and beautiful landscapes) rather than fully enjoy.

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