Since Mira Sorvino's breakout role in 1995's Mighty Aphrodite, which won her an Oscar, her choice of movies haven't really displayed her talents the way that film did. Her latest is an indie and it's called Union Square.
Sorvino plays Lucy, a Bronx girl who's sort of a mess. As the movie begins, she's having a meltdown. Her married boyfriend, who she's stuck on, won't have anything to do with her. She has a lot of other baggage, too, which unfolds as the movie progresses.
She shows up unannounced at her sister Jenny's apartment in Manhattan. These two haven't seen each other in three years. Jenny, played by Tammy Blanchard, is about to get married and she's done everything in her power to hide both her Bronx roots and her family from her fiance. In fact, she's told him she's from the state of Maine.
When Lucy shows up, Jenny is afraid her sister will blow her cover and maybe, if the truth's revealed, she won't be accepted for who she really is or was.
Independent filmmaker Nancy Savoka has basically made a two-character piece that could have easily played out on a stage instead of on a big screen. Despite this, the film has its merits. The handheld, unsteady camera fits the tone and as Lucy begins to divulge exactly what's been going on in her life, her sister starts to meet her, if not halfway, at least a part of the way.
At first, you can't see how these two people could possibly even be sisters. But over time, to Blanchard's credit, you get a sense that her reinvented life is just that. It's a masquerade as she lets the Bronx aspect of her character's personality slowly creep into the performance.
Sorvino is supposed to be a walking train wreck, but she's way over the top here and she could have reeled it in a bit. Still, she ultimately manages to win you over, which is sort of like the movie itself. The movie is slow for a while but ultimately, things come together and there's a decent payoff.
On our NY1 Big Apple Rating Scale, out of a possible four, I'm giving Union Square two-and-a-half apples.