Please Give

Rated 4.0

Writer-director Nicole Holofcener seems to get better with every film, and now she’s cruising along the well-trodden path of neurotic New Yorker comedy-drama with grace and comely confidence. At the center of this nonchalantly moral tale is an urban family contemplating the expansion of their home into the apartment next door, and therefore waiting anxiously for its current tenant to die. Unfurling as a series of loosely braided vignettes, the film might seem too breezy under anyone else’s command, but Holofcener battens the proceedings with perceptive specificity. Here, plot matters less than empathy for blessed yet restless lives and wisdom about how even the best intentions can get messy. Catherine Keener anchors a solid, shrewdly chosen ensemble cast that also includes Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet.