In a bygone era, drug-addled users could score in Union Square; now the health-minded can cop organic kale and cucumbers in a caravan of farm stands. Deftly bringing both the edgy past and cleaned-up present together with humor and heart, Nancy Savoca's new movie, Union Square, features a stunning performance by Mira Sorvino as Lucy, a ditzy but damaged woman who when first glimpsed is bargain shopping at Filene's and cursing out her lover on a cellphone.
The Best Supporting Actress Oscar-winner for Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite, Mira Sorvino here demonstrates she deserves a second. Lucy, in spirit, is not far from the sweet prostitute she played in Woody Allen's comedy. You like Lucy, but, as with any pill popper, you don't know what she'll do next. Dressed like a tart, over the top and not just in her high heels, she barges into her sister Jenny's off-Union Square loft apartment exclaiming, "Erase the past and let's start all over. Oh that family issues could so easily fade!"
Camping out in a fort of white living room cushions with her poodle, Lucy is the guest who refuses to leave, deploying one surprise after another. Some are in the form of visitors from the past, such as her pal Sara, an excellent Daphne Rubin-Vega, so good as Stella in Streetcar Named Desire's recent revival on Broadway. Nick (Michael Rispoli) drops by too, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Sister Jen, an equally fine Tammy Blanchard, plays the straight, wholesome one, but she has some surprises of her own: the Bronx girl has told her fiancé, Bill, a dashing Mike Doyle, she comes from Maine. And then there's the truth about their mother Lucia (Patti LuPone)! Lying may just be a genetic disorder.
Nancy Savoca wrote the tight, smart script with Mary Tobler just to have something to shoot in between projects. Producer Neda Armian provided the loft. Savoca said the story was not a record of specifics from her life, but rather serves as an "emotional autobiography," a narrative from under the skin.
At Monday night's premiere at the Crosby Street Hotel, followed by a Hamptons Magazine hosted party at RSVP, no healthy snacks could be found. Well-wishers sported hats with bands marked 'Stoli' and munched on mac and cheese.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.