Skip to content

Little Pink House

“the law of the land . . . postpone[s] even public necessity to the sacred and inviolable rights of private property.”

Takings its inspiration from that gaudy pink house, writer/director Courtney Moorehead Balaker delivers a screenplay deserving of the aesthetics. A cliché portrayal of village idiots and the government thieves who come to steal, kill, and destroy, Little Pink House is the type of legal film that you can expect from someone who can’t even get right the name of the Chief Justice. Besides the nonprofit who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court (Institute for Justice), no other hero is even remotely bearable when they open their mouth and even the non-profit is depicted as an ineffectual bench warmer with confidence seemingly so low that they appear just happy to be there.

In the film, Catherine Keener plays the main protagonist, Susette Kelo, a Connecticut woman forced out of her home by eminent domain so that a pharmaceutical giant (Pfizer) can pursue a “sweetheart tax-revenue-boosting development deal” faciliated by the state governor. The doctrine of eminent domain appears inside the last few words of the Fifth Amendment: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Described by Ilya Somin, it is a process that allows the government to condemn homes in order to promote “economic development.” This was how the Supreme Court framed the issue underlying the film:

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.56.09 AM.png

Somin explains: “[a]lthough the Fifth Amendment only permits the taking of private property for ‘public use,’ a narrow 5-4 majority ruled that a taking that transfers property to private developers is permissible.” In its deeply unpopular (and narrow) decision, the Supreme Court upheld the project, refusing to “second-guess the City’s considered judgments about the efficacy of its development plan” and  “decline[d] to second-guess the City’s determinations as to what lands it needs to acquire in order to effectuate the project.” Kelo v. City of New London, Conn., 545 U.S. 469, 489 (2005).

The dissenters in the case explain the perceived consequenes of the decision:

“Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded—i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public—in the process.”

Little Pink House takes an interesting story about the legal ramifications surrounding the doctrine of eminent domain and turns it into a shallow piece of emotional battery that yields focus too much on the plight of the neighborhood, instead of the richness of the Fifth Amendment doctrine and specifics of the governments crooked actions to take the homes. The few scenes that show this conniving undertaking were abrupt and poorly executed—at times, embarrassingly so with failed attempts at humor—including the dramatics of the Supreme Court oral argument that pales in comparison to what a competent writer/director like Aaron Sorkin could have done. As Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) correctly writes: “[i]n its earnest attempt to present a landmark legal case as a classic underdog story, “Little Pink House,” . . . succeeds neither narratively nor visually.” 

Like the Little Pink House property today, this film is nothing short of an empty plot of land, useful only to a colony of feral cats. Despite throwing the review to make a public statement, Kyle Smith is right: “Little Pink House should be viewed by every teen & young adult”—but only as punishment.

RATING: C-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Instagram

“The sad thing is it has become almost like a projection of how political campaigns are nowadays. Rather than politicians showing a vision, it’s about throwing dirt to the opponent. So rather than strengthening the values — and I’m not talking moral values, but the artistic merits of a film and the influence it may be having — it’s about trying to push the others down. I find that very sad. And I hope there’s a way — though I’m not sure there is — that it can be regulated by the Academy. I don’t know how.”⁣ ⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE: ⁣⁣@indiewire ⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #filmreviews #ICYMI #comedy #drama #action #horror #suspense #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #theatre #oscars #TheAcademy #awards
I’m certainly no expert at this stuff, but not televising categories like cinematography & film editing is kind of a joke. The other two affected categories are live-action short and makeup. Will be interesting to see what @erickohn has to say on the weekly podcast. ⁣⁣ ⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #filmreviews #ICYMI #comedy #drama #action #horror #suspense #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #theatre #Oscars #AcademyAwards
I’ve been a huge fan of @freesolofilm & the way Elizabeth Chai & @jimmychin put the film together. Check out this short documentary on her process. ⁣ ⁣ 📑 | SOURCE: ⁣@hollywoodreporter ⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #filmreviews #ICYMI #comedy #drama #action #horror #suspense #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #theatre #freesolo #documentary #rockclimbing
First Man may not be making the expected waves at the box-office or with awards circuit pundits, but it’s a compelling and at times towering achievement all the same. The commentary shows three filmmakers with both knowledge about and affection for the story being told, and fans of the film will want to give it a listen after re-watching it again of course.⁣ ⁣ 📑 | SOURCE: ⁣@thefilmschoolrejects ⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #suspense #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #theatre #space #nasa #firstman #science #astronaut #moonlanding
%d bloggers like this: