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Nine Good Teeth (2002)

Director: Alex Halpern
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Docurama
Genre: Documentary, Biographies
Running Time: 76 min.

A standout at film festivals around the world, the critically lauded and irreverently upbeat Nine Good Teeth has been distinguished as "a first-rate documentary" (indieWIRE), a film that plays "as if John Waters had joined forces with Francis Ford Coppola to create a home movie" (BBC Storyville). When Brooklyn-born Sicilian-American matriarch "Nana" (Mary Mirabito Livornese Cavaliere) was young, a gypsy prophecized that she'd live to be 96 years old. With that ominous birthday looming near, director Alex Halpern set out to document the wondrously full life of his centenarian grandmother, a fiercely independent spirit with an endless supply of hilariously homespun wisdom. Dreamily unfolding through Nana's stories, recollections and interviews with her family -- some loving, some rivalrous -- Nine Good Teeth reveals many of the common truths hidden away in all our families, as well as the unexpected: late night visits from Beat poet Jack Kerouac, illicit love affairs, and even the occasional murder. "You'll never live as long as I have," proclaims Nana, a truly outspoken and cinematic character who witnessed the entire twentieth century with her own two eyes.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Home Movie at Large by rediris March 16, 2005 - 11:52 AM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Nine Good Teeth is a glorified home movie. What makes it a standout is the spitfire character of the filmmaker's Grandmother, who turns 96, and is remarkedly candid, about her life, loves, fables and foibles. There's a delicate balance here, an instinct for what it is about one personal life that translates into the universal, and filmmaker Alex Halpern veers at times into domestic detail, leaving the viewer wondering, did I really need to know that? But the film as a whole is warm, funny, complex, daring and engaging.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.80)
15 Votes
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