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

Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by #Netflix following wins at #CannesFilmFestival.⁣ ⁣ “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week." ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE:⁣ @variety⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #netflixmovies #netflixandchill
Kechiche (“Blue is the Warmest Color”) in hot water for another prolonged sex scene, last time it got him the Palme D’Or. Not sure how this film got through the @festivaldecannes selection process, but gratuitous sex scenes in LGBT (vs straight films) have continuously been rewarded (e.g. “God’s Own Country,” “120 Beats Per Minute,” “Weekend”). ⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE:⁣ @indiewire⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #LGBT #gayfilms #cannesfilmfestival
Cannes has awarded their top prize to the brilliant South Korean director, Joon-ho Bong (“The Host,” “Mother,” “Snowpiercer”): a first for the country. ⁣ Back to back years the East takes the Palme d’Or; and deservingly so, with how brilliant the Korean and Chinese new waves have been. Hopefully more from Japan and Hirokazu Kore-eda to come. ⁣ This is exciting time to be a movie fan. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE:⁣ @festivaldecannes ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #newwave #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #briancranston #network #msm #news #media #bias #cannesfilmfestival #koreancinema
CRANSTON ON BROADWAY: “I think the point of 'Network' is not to put yourself in any kind of tribalistic, ideological camp, to allow yourself to open up, to receive different ideas from all different sources and make up your own mind." ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ For some semblance of hearing both sides, check out The Flip Side newsletter (https://www.theflipside.io/).⁣ ⁣ 📑 | SOURCE:⁣ @cbsnews⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #briancranston #network #msm #news #media #bias
%d bloggers like this: