Please Give

Kate and Alex have a good eye for furniture, and this has been of great use to them. In fact, their New York furniture store specialising in trendy designer pieces from the middle of the last century is so successful that they’ve recently been able to purchase the apartment next door to their own. Their plan is to extend their own apartment, which they currently share with their teenage daughter, Abby. The next-door apartment is, however, not yet empty. It’s inhabited by the apartment’s former owner, an elderly widow named Andra. Before Kate and Alex can tear down the walls, Andra needs to vacate the property. And this basically means waiting for her to die.
Kate has a quite a litany of similar quandaries to cope with. One moral dilemma is that she acquires her furniture at knock-down prices from probate auctions and sells it on at a handsome profit. The recurrent question is: how high can she go with her price? She also struggles with the issue of materialism: how can she convince her daughter to do without all those expensive things if she’s not prepared to do without them herself? All of which points towards one of the core issues of the twenty-first century: how can you live your life and be a good person, while the world out there constantly importunes you with poverty, homelessness and sadness?
Nicole Holofcener: “I’ve been struggling to forgive myself for those contradictions my whole life, and I think that’s a struggle I heaped upon my characters, especially Kate. We tend to instantly sympathize with people who are struggling, so even though my characters do some unattractive things, I hope we can forgive them, especially while we laugh at them. With PLEASE GIVE I wanted to illustrate these kind of contradictory moments that make us human.”
by Nicole Holofcener
with Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Sarah Steele, Ann Guilbert
USA 2009 90’

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Sony Pictures Releasing

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