Cinema Verite

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Cinema Verite
Cinema-verite-hbo-premieres.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Produced by Gavin Polone
Zanne Devine
Screenplay by David Seltzer
Starring Diane Lane
Tim Robbins
James Gandolfini
Kathleen Quinlan
Thomas Dekker
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Affonso Beato
Editing by Sarah Flack
Robert Pulcini
Production company HBO Pictures
Country United States
Language English
Release date
  • April 23, 2011 (2011-04-23)
Running time 86 min

Cinema Verite is a 2011 HBO drama film directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. The film's main ensemble cast starred Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini and Kathleen Quinlan. The film follows a fictionalized account of the production of An American Family, a 1973 PBS documentary television series that is said to be one of the earliest examples of the reality television genre. Principal photography was completed in Southern California.[1] The film premiered on April 23, 2011.[2]

Plot synopsis[edit]

The film begins in 1971 with Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) discussing with Pat Loud (Diane Lane) the idea of a documentary series that would concern her family's day to day lives. Pat considers the proposal and accepts, amidst her son Lance (Thomas Dekker) moving to New York City. Pat's husband Bill (Tim Robbins) travels often away on business, leaving his wife alone to care for their five children.

The crew (Patrick Fugit, Shanna Collins) moves in with the Louds and begins to document them. Relations between Pat and Bill grow frayed due to his time away and the stress of the TV show's production. Gilbert tells Pat of his suspicions surrounding Bill's trips away, giving fairly strong evidence that he is cheating on her. The crew fights with Gilbert about his documentary technique, as he makes them film many personal moments.

After surreptitiously duplicating the keys to Bill's office, Pat makes a late night trip to the office and discovers documents that confirm he is cheating on Pat with two other women, resulting in Pat's preparations to file for a divorce. Angry, she tells Gilbert to have cameras there when she tells Bill, wanting "his bimbos to see it, the whole world to see it." Against her wishes, he films Pat's conversation with her brother and his wife.

Pat begins to regret her decision to let Gilbert film the break up, and tries to get one of her sons to tell him while driving Bill home instead. He, however, does not work up the courage to do this, and Pat kicks Bill out of her home on camera.

The film cuts to one year later, when An American Family is experiencing its premiere. The show airs to strong television ratings but much criticism of members of the family, in particular Pat for how she came off on camera and Lance for his homosexuality. The family then gets together to "fight back", addressing their critics by appearing on many talk shows.

Title cards at film's end offer updates for each Loud family member. Lance died of AIDS in 2001, his last wish for his parents to move back in with each other. They currently live together in Los Angeles.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Principal photography was completed primarily in Los Angeles, California.[3]

The film is presented in chapters, with chapter titles such as The Chelsea and The Battle for the Camera Begins. When the chapter titles are shown, short clips from the original 1973 documentary are shown alongside in split screen format.

Critical reception[edit]

Cinema Verite met with a positive reception from television critics. On review aggregator Metacritic the film received a "generally positive" score of 74 out of 100, based on 23 reviews.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film garnered nine nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards and won one technical award prior to the televised ceremony.[5] The film has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards.

Awards and nominations
Ceremony Award Category Recipients Outcome
Primetime Emmy Awards
Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Randi Hiller Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Joseph T. Mastrolia
Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie Beth Miller
Carol Pershing
Terry Baliel
Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Diane Lane Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Mindy Hall
Julie Hewett
Kimberly Felix
Nominated
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie Sarah Flack
Robert Pulcini
Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie Petur Hliddal
Lora Hirschberg
Scott R. Lewis
Douglas Murray
Nominated
Golden Globe Awards
Golden Globe
Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Diane Lane Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Tim Robbins Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards
SAG
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Diane Lane Nominated
TCA Awards
TCA
TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards
WGA
Best Screenplay: Long Form – Original David Seltzer Won

References[edit]

External links[edit]