Westport: A Town Of “Darkness And Pain”

Last week, I posted a story about “Land of Steady Habits.”

The movie — based on 2001 Staples High School graduate Ted Thompson’s debut novel about a Westporter seeking something beyond his soul-crushing marriage and job — has just been released by Netflix.

The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott gave it a strong review yesterday, calling it “unpredictable and fresh.”

He begins:

The American suburb is zoned for ambivalence. Neither city nor country, suburbia — at least in the imagination of too many novelists, filmmakers and songwriters to count — yokes affluence to alienation. Beyond the well-kept lawns and hedges are seething hives of adultery, anomie and addiction. These pathologies may not actually be more common along the commuter rail lines than anywhere else, but there is an imposing body of literature that insists otherwise.

He adds of director Nicole Holofcener: “The darkness and pain haunting Westport are more pronounced …than the melancholy and quiet rage that figure in Ms. Holofcener’s other movies.”

Fortunately, that “darkness and pain” refers to the film, not life in our actual town.

I think.

(For the full New York Times review, click here. Hat tips: John Karrel and Fran White)


9 responses to “Westport: A Town Of “Darkness And Pain”

  1. Dan: Unless he tricked us all, Ted graduated from Staples in 1999.

  2. Where was it filmed?

  3. John B Fontaine

    The Graduate: TNG

  4. I watched it last night , and it was pretty good .. The movie had many scenes of downtown Westport etc … Thanks for sharing this Dan

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    I’m watching it now!

    So far, quite good!

  6. Rotten tomatoes gave it an 83‼️
    Excellent 😎

  7. We saw it tonight at the IFC Center in the Village and we both found it engrossing and poignant—and definitely recommend it. (I was tempted to ask if anyone else in the audience was from Westport.)

    I wish though I had read the novel first.