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Garden State

Garden State

Zach Braff (2003)

98min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The puppy-dog charm and sharp comic timing of Scrubs star Zach Braff are very much to the fore in this, his first major leading role. But it's his talents behind the camera as writer and director that really impress. The story is familiar enough: an actor is forced to re-examine his rather empty, aimless life when he returns to his home town in New Jersey for the funeral of his mother. But Braff's thoughtful, mature script neatly sidesteps most of the obvious clichés, while as a director he shows a fine eye for offbeat composition. The performances are uniformly excellent too, particularly Natalie Portman as the quirky local girl that Braff befriends, and Peter Sarsgaard as his old grave-digging schoolfriend. It falters near the end, but this is still a fine directorial debut.

Summary

A TV actor shuffles through life emotionally numbed by the drugs prescribed for him by his stern psychiatrist father. However, he decides to ditch the pills when returning home for his mother's funeral. Free of medication, his apathy begins to lift, and an eccentric local woman reawakens his joy for life. Romantic drama, written, directed by and starring Zach Braff, with Natalie Portman and Ian Holm.

Cast & Crew

Andrew Largeman Zach Braff
Gideon Largeman Ian Holm
Dr Cohen Ron Leibman
Diego Method Man
Sam Natalie Portman
Mark Peter Sarsgaard
Carol Jean Smart
Olivia Ann Dowd
Albert Dennis O'Hare
Kenny Michael Weston
Tim Jim Parsons
Aunt Sylvia Largeman Jackie Hoffman
Dana Amy Ferguson
Titembay Ato Essandoh
Restaurant Manager George C Wolfe
Director Zach Braff
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Buena Vista Guidance: Swearing, drug abuse and sex scenes. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 10 Dec 2004

Drama

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