Projections - Movie Reviews


Director and writer, Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist and Grand Canyon) has the skill to create characters that I find interesting and very appealing.  In Mumford I liked the characters very early in the story.

Mumford (Loren Dean) is the new psychologist in the town of Mumford.  His ability to listen brings a series of personalities into his office and life.  Sofie Crisp (Hope Davis - Arlington Road) becomes Mumford's favorite.  She is a young woman who has retreated into herself following a failed marriage.  Skip Skipperton (Jason Lee) is a child like billionaire.  Althea Brockett (Mary McDonnell) is an excessive compulsive buyer who is married to self centered Jeremy (Ted Danson).  Lionel Dillard (Martin Short) is a rejected potential client who causes trouble for Mumford.  Henry Follett (Pruitt Taylor Vince) dreams that he is a handsome young man who has many sexy lovers.  Lily (Alfre Woodard) runs the local restaurant.  Nessa Watkins (Zooey Deschanel) is a angry vulgar young woman and Kevin Tighe and Dana Ivey play Mr. and Mrs. Crisp.

Mumford, who has a past that he has not disclosed, listens and maneuvers the characters using problems plaguing one to solve the difficulties of another.  There are many stories in Mumford; many of the residents have hang-ups but when taken together Mumford the psychologist finds solutions.  Even Dr. Ernest Delbanco (David Paymer) who questions Mumford's qualifications benefits from the presence of the new psychologist.

Kasdan moves the characters from depression and despair to fulfillment through their contact with Mumford.  As we watch, they grow on us, even their weaknesses, problems and other warts become endearing to the extent that we want each one to succeed.  When issues are resolved we find ourselves smiling with satisfaction.

Kasdan's direction is warm and filled with affection for his characters.  As it was in The Butcher's Wife when Mumford finishes his work in Mumford, everyone is better off including Mumford.

Mumford is a gently work, by one of our finest directors.  It is one of the most satisfying films of the year.



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