Lovely & Amazing is writer-director Nicole Holofcener's pointedly misshapen, proudly idiosyncratic followup to Walking and Talking. It follows three insecure and image-obsessed L.A. daughters (Catherine Keener, Emily Mortimer, Raven Goodwin) whose long-divorced mom (Brenda Blethyn) hits on liposuction as a way to land a new man.
Holofcener's boldly disorienting vignette style eschews plot development in favor of the Big Themes: the perils of routine communication, the damaging effects of both perfectionism and apathy, the impulse to nurture at odds with the ruthless need for self-protection. Not just a gutsy rejoinder to the New Cinema of Cruelty (cf. Solondz, LaBute et al.), Lovely & Amazing is the rare women's picture made brilliantly and independently by a woman ' and rarer still for being tough on women.