Anywhere but Here (film)

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Anywhere but Here
Movie poster
Directed by Wayne Wang
Produced by Laurence Mark
Screenplay by Alvin Sargent
Based on Anywhere but Here 
by Mona Simpson
Starring Susan Sarandon
Natalie Portman
Shawn Hatosy
Narrated by Natalie Portman
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • November 12, 1999 (1999-11-12)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23 million
Box office $23,631,929

Anywhere but Here is a 1999 American dramatic film, based on the novel of the same name by Mona Simpson. The screenplay was written by Alvin Sargent, and the film was directed by Wayne Wang. It was produced by Laurence Mark, Petra Alexandria, and Ginny Nugent. It stars Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Filming began in late June 1998. It debuted at the Toronto Film Festival on September 17 in 1999, before being released on November 12.


Adele August (Susan Sarandon) is an eccentric woman who, with her reluctant daughter Ann (Natalie Portman), leaves a small Wisconsin town and moves to Beverly Hills to realize her dreams. Adele is not very good in relationships and a difficult person to get along with. She wishes to marry a rich guy. She may not know what those dreams are herself. Adele is confused and always tries to deal with matters the easy way. She buys things she can't afford, even buy a used Mercedes back home and drive it to Beverly Hills and her more practical daughter is upset when she does this. Ann wants to leave her, but she couldn't because she stuck is with her and she still loves her father who left her at a young age. She also resented her mother for leaving her stepfather for a better life in Beverly Hills.

When living in Beverly Hills, Adele improvises from day to day, often unable to pay the bills. She even got her daughter to enroll in Beverly Hills High School where a lot of rich kids and movie star kids go to. Adele dated a successful dentist while she was here, but he wasn't in love with her and dumped her for a younger woman. She wants her daughter to become an actress, but Ann is much more interested in going away to Brown University. After Adele fails in many respects, she accepts her daughter's plans and decides to help her.



The film received positive reviews from critics. It currently holds a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads: "The clever reversal of roles between Portman and Sarandons' characters (Portman is constantly worried and looking out for her mother, not vice versa) makes the movie interesting and worth watching. Transcends the tired cliche well."[1]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars and noted "The movie's interest is not in the plot, which is episodic and 'colorful,' but in the performances. Sarandon bravely makes Adele into a person who is borderline insufferable. Sarandon's role is trickier and more difficult, but Portman's will get the attention. In 'Anywhere But Here,' she gets yanked along by her out of control mother, and her best scenes are when she fights back, not emotionally, but with incisive observations."[2]

Filming locations[edit]


Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture
Anywhere But Here soundtrack.png
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released November 2, 1999
Genre Pop
Length 59:25
Label Atlantic/Wea.
Producer Danny Elfman, Steve Power, Lisa Loeb, Michael Beinhorn, Malcolm Burn, Marius de Vries, Joe Hardy, Jay Joyce, k.d. lang, Pierre Marchand, Rick Nowels, Carmen Rizzo, Glenn Rosenstein, Don Was, Wilbur C. Rimes, Ellen Segal, Pocket Size, Billy Harvey
Singles from Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture
  1. "Leaving's Not Leaving"
    Released: September 28, 1999 (1999-09-28)[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic[4] 3/5 stars

A soundtrack to the film was released on November 2, 1999,[5] ten days before the theatrical release. The soundtrack was distributed by Atlantic Records and Wea.

The soundtrack features original music by Lisa Loeb, Danny Elfman and k.d. lang. It also featured tracks by artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Sarah McLachlan, and Pocket Size, as well as other various artists. Rimes' song, "Leaving's Not Leaving", was released as a B-side track with her single, "Big Deal", on September 28, 1999.[3]

No. Title Recording artist(s) Length
1. "Anywhere But Here"   k.d. lang 3:45
2. "Walking"   Pocket Size 4:14
3. "Scream and Shout"   21st Century Girls 3:25
4. "Leaving's Not Leaving" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) LeAnn Rimes 4:53
5. "I Wish"   Lisa Loeb 2:27
6. "Free"   Marie Wilson 3:56
7. "Amity"   Carly Simon and Sally Taylor 3:17
8. "Ice Cream"   Sarah McLachlan 2:43
9. "Furniture"   Kacy Crowley 3:29
10. "Twisted Road"   Patty Griffin 2:48
11. "Strange Wind"   Poe 3:59
12. "Everything Around Me Is Changing"   Sinéad Lohan 4:42
13. "Come Here"   Lili Haydn 4:22
14. "Chotee"   Bif Naked 3:50
15. "Anywhere But Here Score Suite"   Danny Elfman 7:35
Total length:

Awards and nominations[edit]

Golden Globe Awards

  • Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Natalie Portman

Young Artist Awards

  • Nominated - Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress - Natalie Portman

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

  • Nominated - Best Contemporary Hair Styling (Feature) - Paul LeBlanc

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #5 at the North American box office and made $5.6 million USD in its opening weekend.


  1. ^ "Anywhere But Here (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 12, 1999). "'Anywhere But Here'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Big Deal / Leaving's Not Leaving: Leann Rimes: Music". Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  4. ^ "Anywhere But Here - Original Soundtrack". Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  5. ^ "Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture: Danny Elfman: Music". Retrieved 2011-10-25. 

External links[edit]