Title: The Other Woman
Director: Don Roos
Stars: Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow and Lauren Ambrose
While Natalie Portman plays Emilia Greenleaf, “The other woman” in the upcoming film adaptation of author Ayelet Waldman’s 2006 novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Emilia will also be remembered as the Academy Award-nominated actress’ “other character” this season. After appearing as ballerina Nina Sayers in this winter’s hit Oscar-nominated movie ‘Black Swan,’ Portman is once again portraying a character overcome with emotion in ‘The Other Woman.’ However, despite her best efforts, Portman fails to deliver another passionate and intense performance.
‘The Other Woman’ tries to take a humorous, sarcastic and dramatic look into the devastating world of dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. Don Roos, who both wrote and directed ‘The Other Woman,’ deserves credit for his attempt to showcase such a serious subject in an unconventional way. However, his final effort did not totally live up to the movie’s studio, IFC Films, description of the plot as frank, funny and heart-wrenching.
Audiences will surely sympathize with Emilia (played by Portman), who’s struggling to find a balance in her life. She’s trying to figure out how to deal with the death of her newborn daughter, her deteriorating marriage to her husband Jack Wolf (portrayed by Scott Cohen), her hostile relationship with her stepson William (portrayed by Charlie Tahan) and the rift in her relationship with her father, due to his cheating on her mother. With all of this, Emilia must also deal with Jack’s jealous ex-wife Carolyn (played by Lisa Kudrow), who doesn’t like how she treats William. Carolyn is also still upset Jack had an affair with Emila, got her pregnant and married her.
While writing the script, Roos definitely had good intentions, as he wanted to showcase what happens to a family behind closed doors as they struggle with their problems with each other. While movies detailing influential men leaving their families for a woman working in their company is clichéd, the after effects and problems of their new marriages are rarely shown. With Emilia and Jack’s union, Roos wanted to prove that not all relationships that arise from work affairs are stable.
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