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What They Had

Rated Parental Guidance (Coarse Language) ~ Runs 101 minutes

Dir.: Elizabeth Chomko, US

Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Blythe Danner

“Hilary Swank leads the cast as Bridget Ertz, a mother living with her teenage daughter and husband in California. A call out of the blue sees her rush back to the family home in Chicago where her ailing mother, Ruth, played by Blythe Danner has disappeared. Her father, Burt (Robert Forster), is clearly distraught, and it is the consensus that Ruth belongs in a home, something that he is unwilling to commit to after the fifty or so years that they haven’t left one another’s side... A series of confrontations and arguments between the family line the entire movie, something which lends itself to comedy as well as drama, as Ruth’s outburst are often funny, but obviously heart-breaking. She sometimes forgets who her family is... and the strains are starting to show. Danner is superb as Ruth, matched by Forster’s heart-rendering turn as Burt... Swank returns to the kind of role which reminds us of those two Oscar-winning turns from ten-plus years ago in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby... reminding us of how great she can be. Her Bridget is a troubled woman herself, full of inner torment who strives to keep herself occupied and not deal with her own problems... Michael Shannon commands every scene he’s in – playing a more comedic character, one that we haven’t seen him do that much in the past, and here he’s the absolute stand-out amongst a collective cast that are at the top of their game. What They Had is the kind of film that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure; as hilarious as it is heart-breaking. A film that makes you want to go home and hug your family as soon as you leave the auditorium... A striking, memorable debut from writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, and well worth your time.” - Paul Heath, the Hollywood News



When What They Had plays...
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December 9