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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beautiful Ohio DVD Review

Beautiful Ohio - A E1 Films Release

On DVD: May 19th, 2009

Rated 14A for sexual content and substance abuse

Running Time: 90 min.

Chad Lowe (dir.)

Ethan Canin (screenplay)

Ethan Canin (story)

Craig Wedren (music)

William Hurt as Simon Messerman

Rita Wilson as Judith Messerman

Brett Davern as William Messerman

David Call as Clive Messerman

Michelle Trachtenberg as Sandra

Hale Appleman as Elliot


Beautiful Ohio Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Beautiful Ohio follows the story of a family in the early 1970’s. One son is a genius, the other one is growing up in his shadow. The film’s problems lie not in the story, but in the way they decided to tell it. Too much time is spent on the family sitting around trying to intellectually out-qoute each other.

It has an excellent twist at the end that I did not see coming. The problem is, the twist only comes about 10 minutes from the end, so there is not much time to embellish on it. The film makes you think a lot more than it needs to. If you think about it after you watch it, not much actually happens in it’s 90 minute running time. With a tighter story and better editing, this film could have been quite good. Beautiful Ohio is an odd, but interesting little film, that is good, but not really anything special. Worth a rental.

There are no bonus features on the DVD.


Beautiful Ohio Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

I can’t go into much of the plot of this film without spoiling it, as not all that much happens for the first 80 minutes or so. Considering that it’s only 90 minutes long, that’s most of the movie.

Essentially telling no more than the DVD package, this movie is about William, a teenager with a older brother Clive who is a mathematical genius. Natually, William feels like he is always in the shadow of his older brother as he watches him compete his way up to the Ohio state math finals. Clive and his friends speak some strange language that William doesn’t understand, and part of the movie is spent with him looking for a dictionary that he may have written to explain what he is saying. On top of this, Clive’s girl friend Sandra begins to become attached to William, and he to her.

Even with all of these ideas in the film, it never really goes anywhere until, like I said, the last 10 minutes or so. Throughout the movie, it keeps on seeming like we are going to find something out, or something is going to happen, but it rarely ever does.

I guess it would be worth a rental if you feel like checking it out, but for me, I am quite indifferent towards this movie.


Beautiful Ohio Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

A decent movie, with a fairly good storyline. Rent it if you have the time.


Beautiful Ohio Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Interesting film, worth a rental.


Beautiful Ohio Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

William (Brett Davern), the only relatively normal and likeable character in this story, is overshadowed by his older brother Clive (David Call), a high school senior easily working his way up to the 1973 Ohio state championship in mathematics. Their father (William Hurt), an insurance salesman and WWII navy vet, is rarely sober. Their mother (Rita Wilson) is annoyingly arrogant. When together, the family members talk past each other, each with their own agendas, pretentiously quoting passages from Einstein, Coleridge, Wilde, et al. Outside of math competitions, between puffs from his collection of bongs, Clive is usually heard speaking some mysterious language with his close friends. Clive is dating Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg), who hides out in his basement and takes an increasing interest in William. After about 90 brooding minutes, mysteries are suddenly solved, and we can all heave a sigh of like whatever.

Beautiful Ohio is a decent coming of age film, as long as you are not in the mood for comedy. The recent film Adventureland and the much earlier Breakfast Club are full of laughs by comparison. Ohio-born director Chad Lowe, backed by a long list of names such as co-producer Hilary Swank, may have taken his material more seriously than it deserves.


Consensus: Beautiful Ohio is a movie that is quite slow moving at times, with the most happening in the last 10 minutes. Still, it’s worth renting if you’re interested, and have the time. **1/2 (Out of 4)

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