Title: Private Life
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Tamara Jenkins
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Kayli Carter
Runtime: 2 hr 3 mins
What It Is: Rachel (Hahn) is an author. Her husband Richard (Giamatti) is an actor. The two of them have been trying to conceive for quite some time. After several experiments and various procedures, they haven’t had any luck. Now they’re considering a new option their doctor has given them…an egg donor. Richard’s step-niece Sadie (Carter) is the perfect volunteer…if she’s down for that. Now Sadie lives with them and there’s no time like the present to make that ask.
What We Think: This might be the film that touched me emotionally the most in 2018. There’s something about this that struck a chord with me. Looking at the acting it is all pretty stellar. Giamatti and Hahn just feel like a couple. They are poignant and heartfelt at times, others times they fight with the furor of a real duo. I watched this and I felt. I felt FOR and WITH our leads throughout the entire runtime and that feat, which is fantastic, falls at the feet of Tamara Jenkins. She is working at a higher clip than most on this.
Our Grade: A, Well, well Netflix. You’re coming around. With things like Roma and this, it is about damn time one of the largest streaming services in the world joined Amazon and Hulu in making something that might have some award consideration. Already nominated for 3 Independent Spirit awards I’m hoping my ole pal Oscar comes a-callin’. This is unlikely, BUT Tamara Jenkins is worth any and all acknowledgment she receives here. I think at this point it goes without saying that I fully recommend this film to everyone. There’s a sadness to the whole thing that is juxtaposed by wonderful happiness to certain moments. A shoutout to Molly Shannon and the always wonderful John Carroll Lynch.