[box cover]

13 Conversations About One Thing

Jill Sprecher's low key meditation on happiness, fate, faith, and chaos carefully hops between several small, and barely related, narrative threads: a hit-and-run accident, a random mugging, a near-death experience, and a vexing case of irrepressible optimism. Sprecher, who co-wrote the film with her sister Karen, elegantly transitions from one story to another, crisscrossing chronologies and crises, broaching some provocative philosophical ideas while also picking up fine and nuanced performances from Alan Arkin, Matthew McConaughey, Clea DuVall, and John Turturro. However, despite the importance of that titular one thing, Sprecher's film stays too true to its title and never surpasses its conversational style for a real emotional involvement in its characters' searches for purpose or satisfaction. As it is, the viewer is left with the feeling of having overheard a good conversation, but not having participated in any meaningful way. Columbia TriStar presents 13 Conversations About One Thing in a good anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and a commentary by sisters Sprecher. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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