Monday, December 21, 2015

Movie Review: Noel (2004)

The Convex Group, Neverland Films, Zvi Howard Rosenman Production, Code Entertainment, Red Rose Productions LLC, USA, Canada, 2004.
Rose Collins (Susan Sarandon) meets her old and successful friend Debbie Carmichael (Donna Hanover). Rose says that she is happily married and having a big family Christmas. In reality she is divorced and plans to spend the Christmas with her mother who is in hospital. Possibility for romance appears in the form of younger Latin lover Marco (Daniel Sunjata) but Rose is too tense to start a relationship.
Susan Sarandon
Rose Collins
Mike Riley (Paul Walker) is a cop who proposes his girlfriend Nina Vasquez (Penélope Cruz). What casts a shadow over the romance is that Mike is jealous. Artie (Alan Arkin) is an old waiter who seems to know Mike from somewhere much to Mike's annoyance.
Paul Walker
Mike Riley
Penélope Cruz
Nina Vasquez
Alan Arkin
Jules (Marcus Thomas) wants to get in hospital so that he could enjoy hospital's Christmas party. He is poor and owes a lot of money to various people. Little by little the paths of Rose, Nina, Artie, Mike and Jules cross. Also Charlie Boyd (Robin Williams uncredited) has a small but important role.
Marcus Thomas
This is a heartwarming Christmas drama about lonely people. The sentimental and quite melancholic approach makes it close to Frank Capra's Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" with realistic people having real-life problems. Also "Noel" has a bit of Christmas magic in it. It is not a traditional cheery Christmas movie, but one with touching stories about people with tragic pasts. The cast is good with Sarandon doing the main work. Also Paul Walker does a good role as a macho cop who finds his soft side. Scenes of wintry New York City look nice.
Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams
Rating: Good

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, Penélope Cruz, Alan Arkin, Marcus Thomas, Sonny Marinelli, Daniel Sunjata, Chazz Palminteri, Rob Daly, John Doman, Billy Porter, Carmen Ejogo, Donna Hanover, Merwin Mondesir, Una Kay, Sonia Benezra, Marcia Bennett, Howard Rosenstein, Jane Wheeler, David Julian Hirsh, Marguerite Kinh, Arthur Holden, Maurizio Terrazzano, Rachelle Lefevre, Erika Rosenbaum, Charles Rosenblum, Victoria Sanchez, Scott Faulconbridge, Budd Mishkin, Carmen Echeverria, Gianpaolo Venuta, Nicholas Haze, Ruth Chiang, Kevin Ryder, Andy Bradshaw, Robert Newton Brown, Bill Corday, Jennifer Seguin, Lindsay Owen Pierre, David Schaap, Lynne Adams, Kathleen Mackey, Robin Williams Director: Chazz Palminteri

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