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  • NEW Beautiful Ohio (DVD)
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NEW Beautiful Ohio (DVD)

Price: CDN$ 12.99
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4 new from CDN$ 12.99 5 used from CDN$ 9.99

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Family Finding Itself Nov. 30 2008
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: DVD
Ethan Canin is one of our more important authors (`America, America', `Emperor of the Air', `The Palace Thief' which became the film `The Emperor's Club') and to discover a screenplay/story by him is a treat. BEAUTIFUL OHIO is a fascinating little film directed by Chad Lowe about an apparently close knit family that knows really very little about each other: it is Canin's purpose to unravel the stories of 'ordinary people confronting aspects of themselves they'd rather not see.' Behind each member's delusions and hopes to ultimately reach the mid-ground of recognition of just how special is each member is where this very tender story travels.

Simon Messerman (William Hurt) is an insurance salesman who happens to read voraciously and speaks in quotations of famous writers and thinkers. His wife Judith (Rita Wilson) is equally bright, quotes as often as William, but adds a flavor of correcting people's grammar and living in a world of her beloved composers (Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, etc). They have two sons - Clive (David Call) is a long-haired math genius who despite his gifts spends his time playing loud hard rock music and speaking in a language all his own, and William (Brett Davern) who is devoted to his more intelligent brother but longs for a sense of normalcy in a family that tends to fragment at odd times. Clive's best friend and the only person who understands his special language is Elliot (Hale Appleman): the two of them essentially keep to themselves and smoke pot while they are not entertaining the 'homeless' Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg). Sandra chooses to live in the basement of the Messerman house to avoid coping with her own abusive parents. The four youngsters are a team of sorts, thought the interrelationship roles each plays is not at first apparent.

The Messermans brag about Clive's constant triumphs at math contests, entertain their neighbors the Cubanos (Matt Servitto and Julianna Marguiles), and fill their lives with attending math meets, basically ignoring the personalities of their two boys. William longs for acceptance and understanding by his parents: Clive lives in his own world. William is driven to discover the meaning of Clive's strange language and eventually finds clues that lead to the secrets he'd rather not know. A situation occurs that stuns the family, and the story jumps forward to the resolving aftermath of that discovery.

For a bare bones budget film the story is well told and is a compelling one. Ethan Canin reads better on the page than his words convey through the mouths of actors, and at times the result is pretentious dialogue. But the cast is superb and the ending is one that makes the audience stop, think, and want to see the movie again for the clues we missed. Well worth seeing. Grady Harp, November 08
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Slow paced, but worthwhile Dec 7 2011
By Brad Smith - Published on
Format: DVD
The tale of two brothers, one average and one a math genius, make this low budget indie come alive, even if the payoff is minimal at best. What's William Hurt doing here? He's not bad, but I thought he would be in bigger films. The whole thing is a little offbeat, of course, and that's why it's worth watching. Not many films are set in as bland a place as Ohio.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great Story and Fine Acting Dec 6 2008
By S. Li - Published on
Format: DVD
When I grew up, my elder brother was a genius in school, not just Math, but virtually every subject. My parents were consumed with his excellence. Like the yonger son William in the movie, I logned for my parents' and brother's acceptance. It is hard growing up in the shadow of a genius.

This movie might not be for everyone, but definitely a well done one.
A subtle title April 20 2014
By Harry F. Drabik - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wouldn't call this film a masterpiece or say it is a favorite, but the overall style and development of story and characters was fairly to very good. I enjoyed it enough for a second viewing as rewarding as the first.
Ok movie, poorly developed story line, weak characters. Dec 2 2013
By GeniusNP - Published on
Verified Purchase
This movie is ok. It is definitely a little strange. Not much action or drama, the character portrayals are somewhat weak. I don' think it is worth spending money to see in a theater.

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