Year by the Sea | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated NR · 114 minutes · 2017

If the genders have achieved equality anywhere, it’s in how difficult it is for cinematic narratives of “finding yourself” to transcend twinkly cliché. Writer/director Alexander Janko adapts the memoir by Joan Anderson (Karen Allen), who faces uncertainty as her two grown sons move on with their lives and her husband Robin (Michael Cristofer) prepares for a job-related move from New York to Kansas. But rather than leave with Robin, Joan rents a cottage on Cape Cod to find … well, you know. Various encounters with locals—including a hunky fisherman (Yannick Bisson) and free-spirited neighbor (Celia Imrie)—fill out most of the time, while first-time director Janko leans into magic-hour location shots set to mellow acoustic music. It’s a nice showcase for Allen and her radiant smile, but the pacing is so languid that it makes it that much easier to notice how much dialogue amounts to life lessons that you’d expect to find in framed needlepoint. If you’re looking for a fantasy about a woman who gets to drink wine and write, though, and you’ve already seen Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat Pray Love, this’ll do.


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Director: Alexander Janko
Producer: Alexander Janko, Dale Johnson, Bill Latka and Cressey Belden
Cast: Karen Allen, Yannick Bisson, Michael Cristofer, Celia Imrie, Monique Curnen, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jane Hajduk and Amy Van Nostrand

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