Alex of Venice


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 2484


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March 14, 2016 at 03:29 AM

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1hr 26 min
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23.976 fps
1hr 26 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Argemaluco 7 / 10

Alex of Venice

For his debut as a director, actor Chris Messina made Alex of Venice, an interesting but not totally satisfactory drama which takes advantage of its main actress' big talent, even though she might have deserved more substantial material to work with. Don't misunderstand me... Alex of Venice is a competent drama with excellent performances and a realistic story which deals with difficult and emotive topics without employing Hollywood's false sentimentality. Messina's direction is fluid and efficient, lacking of any affectations and with a good eye to create an urban/bohemian atmosphere reflecting the contrasts of the Venice neighborhood in Los Ángeles. The problem/pro of the film is letting the story be developed through the main character's silences, as well as her subtle changes of expression. Needless to say, Alex of Venice counts with a tremendously expressive actress who fully dominates her craft in that role; but I think co-screenwriters Jessica Goldberg, Katie Nehra and Justin Shelton relied too much on Mary Elizabeth Winstead's talent, and they omitted important pieces of the narrative puzzle, making the movie feel... I don't know... incomplete and premature. The main thing which makes Alex of Venice worthy of a moderate recommendation is the perfect performances, not only Winstead's, but also the ones from Don Johnson, Skylar Gaertner and Julianna Guill. In conclusion, I think Alex of Venice represents a decent debut from Messina as a director which counts with a cast whose brilliant work is helpful to overcome the limitations of the screenplay to some point. I think Alex of Venice should have gone farther in the dramatic aspect, emphasizing the main character's evolution instead of getting distracted with peripheral events which obliquely contribute to the story, but without deepening enough on the main character's experiences.

Reviewed by jrdeahl 3 / 10

I thought the character roles needed to reversed

My first ever review here. I will be brief.

The leading lady had some character flaws that should have been given to the husband.

The husbands role was not believable. After 10+ years of marriage he said he isn't happy, then leaves the next day! Give me a break!

I mean, she is a practicing lawyer. She should know that drugs could ruin here career as a lawyer. A drug conviction can even keep you from being a teacher, let alone a lawyer. She ends up sleeping with a man she is fighting in court (ethics violation)! Not to mention she has not been legally separated or divorced from her current husband.

Both the wife and husband wear their wedding rings in the entire movie. Even thought the husband left on his own and didn't want to keep the marriage going at the end. He was the one that left the next day, he would have known he wasn't returning.

The husband left because they/he grew apart? It seems it would have been more likely that the husband would have had the affair, drugs and thrown out of the house.

I couldn't watch all of it, then just kept skipping ahead to the end.

I was disappointed, kind of like in Avatar when they flew down on top of the ships instead of just throwing rocks in to the ships vertical rotor blades!!! The father has the climatic fall, seems to have altimeters, then has all his lines in the play in the end, go figure!

Liked the leading lady though.

Reviewed by Larry Silverstein 4 / 10

Indie Just Doesn't Ring True

I would have to say I was quite disappointed in this indie, as I'm a big Mary Elizabeth Winstead fan, and feel she's a most talented actress and always seems to bring an appealing quality to her roles. She stars here as Alex, a driven environmental attorney for Earth Now, and who's currently in litigation to stop the construction of a spa which may be damaging the surrounding habitat.

There's just so must Winstead can do here with a script that came across to me as being way too incredulous and nonsensical. For example, Alex winds up sleeping with the builder (Derek Luke) of the aforementioned spa, whom she meets by chance at a local bar. She, nor anyone else, gives a second thought to a conflict of interest with someone she's currently fighting in court with. Huh?

Also, when her husband George, played by Chris Messina who also makes his directorial debut here, decides to leave her and their 10-year-old son Dakota (Skylar Gaertner), because he's unhappy being a stay-at-home dad, Alex's father calls his other daughter Lily (Katie Nehra) to come help out with Dakota. No one seems to notice, till much later, that the free-spirit Lily, who "curses like a sailor", may not be the best influence on Dakota.

Then there's the father Roger (Don Johnson) who takes a part in a Chekhov play despite the fact his memory is failing and it looks like he will be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (for which no one in the home seems too concerned about). To top it all off, there's the anti-male stereotypes that all men are "fill in the blank", a theme interwoven throughout the movie.

All in all, although this film has some charm, at times, and the atmospherics of Venice, California are pleasing to the eye, I just couldn't buy into the storyline which, more often than not, came across to me as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

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