|Directed by||Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini|
|Produced by||Gavin Polone
|Screenplay by||David Seltzer|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Editing by||Sarah Flack
|Production company||HBO Pictures|
|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. The film premiered on April 23, 2011.
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.
- Tim Robbins as Bill Loud
- Diane Lane as Pat Loud
- James Gandolfini as Craig Gilbert
- Kathleen Quinlan as Mary
- Thomas Dekker as Lance Loud
- Patrick Fugit as Alan Raymond
- Shanna Collins as Susan Raymond
- Willam Belli as Candy Darling
- Lolita Davidovich as Valerie
- Kyle Riabko as Jackie Curtis
- Kaitlyn Dever as Michelle Loud
- Nick Eversman as Grant Loud
- Johnny Simmons as Kevin Loud
- Caitlin Custer as Delilah Loud
- Jake Richardson as Tommy Goodwin
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.
Awards and nominations
The film garnered nine nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards and won one technical award prior to the televised ceremony. The film has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards.
- "Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini Star in HBO Films' 'Cinema Verite,' A Dramatic Look at the Making of the Groundbreaking Documentary 'An American Family' Debuting in April". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- HBO Announces Premiere Date For Cinema Verite
- Filming locations
- "Cinema Verite - Season 1 Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- Emmy Awards
- Official website
- Cinema Verite at the Internet Movie Database
- Cinema Verite at allmovie
- Lloyd, Robert (April 22, 2011). "Television reviews: 'Cinema Verite' and 'An American Family'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
- "Looking at the Louds: A video supplement to 'Cinema Verite' and 'An American Family'". Los Angeles Times. April 23, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
- Lim, Dennis (April 15, 2011). "Reality-TV Originals, in Drama’s Lens". The New York Times.