The Great Escape

Chain Gangs! Cast Aways! Kung Fu! Chocolate! ... It's Time for the Holiday Film Previews

You Can Count on Me

D: Kenneth Lonergan; with Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin, Matthew Broderick.

No stars. No special effects. No bravura camera work. There's nothing sexy about You Can Count on Me -- even its title sounds like a children's book. Still, this little film about a brother and sister reunited as adults is already being hailed as one of the best films of the year by Roger Ebert and The New York Times' Stephen Holden. The film, which has already opened in some markets but withholds its Austin premiere until late December, marks the directorial debut of Kenneth Lonergan, a playwright who found success in the theatre with his autobiographical This Is Our Youth and as a screenwriter with last year's Analyze This. The film follows the troubled relationship between Terry (Ruffalo), a floundering charmer, and his strait-laced sister Sammy (Linney, of The Truman Show), two siblings orphaned early in life and still trying to find their way. You Can Count on Me shared the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance with Karyn Kusama's Girlfight, and looks poised to fire audience inspiration in what's been an otherwise drab season. (Dec. 22)

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