HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
Man Who Skied Down Everest, The
Bottoms Up!
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Garden State Portman blossoming nicely
Year: 2004
Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm, Jackie Hoffman, Method Man, Jean Smart, Ann Dowd, Ron Liebman, Denis O'Hare, Michael Weston
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: Released in cinemas late 2004 to a great deal of critical acclaim and written, directed and starring Zach Braff (best know for TV series Scrubs), this is the story of Andrew Largeman, an actor who enjoyed a modicum of success before ending up working in a restaurant to pay his way. When he receives a phonecall from his father telling him that his mother has died, Andrew must return to his sleepy New Jersey home town for the first time in 9 years and decides to couple this with abandoning the medications he had been taking since he was a child. On his return, he encounters many of his old friends, all of whom treat him initially as a returning hero who has experienced a great success, even one friend who has invented silent Velcro and lives the lifestyle of an eccentric playboy. Andrew’s first night back degenerates into an orgy of drugs and alcohol, which leads him to start questioning the spaced out state in which he has been living his life. A visit to the doctors the next day leads to a chance meeting with Sam, Natalie Portman, a larger than life character filled with an infectious and enthusiastic charm, illustrated by both the colourful clothes she wears and the vibrancy of her home. Andrew seems intrigued by this girl who embraces life so readily and they strike up an instant rapport. Together with his best friend Mark (Peter Sarsgaard), the two of them explore the town running into several more of Andrew’s old acquaintances all of whom seem to have messed up their lives and see his small success in LA as their way out. These encounters and Andrew’s rapidly changing relationship with Sam and Mark – who Andrew originally viewed as a stoned waster – force him to re-evaluate his childhood which was shaped by the effects of one accident denting the relationship with his father Ian Holm and how this has forced him into the adult he has become.

With something for everyone, the film is hard to categorise; essentially it is the story of Andrew’s journey, but it is also a surreal, laugh out loud comedy and a love story that steers firmly away from sickly over-sentimentality and in this it will draw inevitable comparisons to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind – certainly the colourful and quirky Sam reminds you of Clementine in this film. However, whilst “Eternal…” alienated some of the audience due to the strangeness of the story, this tale is based more in reality and should not deter too many viewers. The acting is first-class from everyone involved, with Natalie Portman being particularly impressive – she brings a vulnerability and innocence to the role, despite her character appearing feisty and constantly inquisitive. The deleted scenes are also well worth watching; highly amusing and fleshing out some of the bit-part players, many appearing to have been cut purely for pacing reasons. The soundtrack too is excellent and seems to complement the mood of the story perfectly.

A skilful and stylistic study of one man’s journey of self-discovery, Garden State veers between pathos and humour with consummate ease, it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Indeed the only bad point I can level at this movie is quite how sickeningly talented Braff must be!
Reviewer: Carl Blezard

 

This review has been viewed 6032 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: