Peace, Love & Misunderstanding
USA, 2011, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama
MUST END Thursday, July 12th at the DenverFilmCenter/Colfax
Divorce makes you do crazy things. For Manhattan lawyer Diane (Catherine Keener), “crazy” means driving her teenaged son Jake (Nat Wolff) and adult daughter Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) to Woodstock to visit their grandmother Grace (Jane Fonda). The crazy part is that the kids have never met Grace. In fact, Diane hasn’t spoken to her mother in twenty years.
Grace is the epitome of the term “free spirit”: she stages protests and hootenannies in the town square, smokes (and sells) a lot of dope, keeps chickens so free they range all over her house, hosts frequent visits from naked men and howls at the moon once a month with her goddess-worshipping girlfriends. Grace is one tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippie mamma. Her personality was always so immense Diane felt there was rarely any room for anyone else.
A story about the things that unite and divide families, veteran director Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding gives viewers all its title promises and more, playfully depicting a string of new beginnings founded in letting go of the past. Diane isn’t sure what she came to Woodstock for, but what she finds is an open offer of motherly solace, the chance to bond with her children and perhaps the opportunity to open her heart to someone new. She meets a carpenter/singer/songwriter named Jude (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He’s handsome, generous, impulsive and really, really corny. He also clearly adores her. But is Diane ready for romance?
Beresford, a master when it comes to balancing fine performances with taut pacing, is at home with a marvelous, charming cast. Keener elegantly conveys conflicted emotions; Wolff possesses an endearing innocence; and Olsen radiates the heated convictions and overwhelming desires of young adulthood. But Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding belongs to Fonda, in an all-too-rare return to the screen. A living symbol of the era Grace represents, Fonda’s naturally warm energy and fiery spirit infuse every corner of this heartwarming and very funny film. -- Toronto International Film Festival
DIRECTOR: Bruce Beresford
Principal Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chace Crawford, Catherine Keener, Kyle MacLachlan, Jane Fonda, Rosanna Arquette
US Distributor: IFC Films