The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: United States
Run Time: 93 minutes
If ever there was a film perfectly attuned to the current zeitgeist, it would be The Joneses. First-time writer-director Derrick Borte imbues a serious core theme – the wobbly undercurrents of a frenetic consumer culture – with humour, warmth and shots of clever, zesty fun. Borte begins the film by showing us ourselves – or at least who we often aspire to be. We meet Steve Jones (David Duchovny), his wife, Kate (Demi Moore), and their children Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) as they move into their monster home in an affluent suburb of a city somewhere in America. Friendly, confident and very good-looking, they are also loaded with the coolest, newest stuff. The Joneses are much more than just the new neighbours. Within days, all four family members have insinuated their way into the community. Their most dedicated fans are their next-door neighbours Larry (Gary Cole) and Summer (Glenne Headly), a couple devoted to each other yet prone to keeping secrets as well. Despite the Joneses' success integrating into the community, soon the fissures in their family begin to spew. But it's not until an outright catastrophe occurs next door that they are forced to make choices about their priorities. Duchovny is compelling as a man who doesn't really know who he is until it's almost too late, and Moore gives one of her best performances as a woman who uses her job as a shield against real emotional involvement. Cole and Headly are particularly affecting as a couple who have wholly committed themselves to the principles of the American dream but are ultimately betrayed by their own ideals. Borte convincingly makes the case that as a society we have an almost unquenchable thirst to shop for the latest and the biggest everything, and he demonstrates how our possessions fill up the emotional hole where our self-worth should be. Given the events of the last year, there's no doubt that we need to figure out who we want to be, not what we want to buy. – Jane Schoettle, Toronto Int'l Film Festival
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM
THE JONESES (2009)
Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Derrick Borte, Kristi Zea
David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amber Heard, Gary Cole, Lauren Hutton, Ben Hollingsworth, Glenne Headly