JakeBaker’s review published on Letterboxd:
I can’t believe it took me so long to see this. Private Life is one of the most heartfelt films in all of 2018. From Tamara Jenkins excellent direction to the brilliant performances, the amount of emotion Private Life evoked out of me was astonishing. It’s a tough watch to see what this family is going through but Tamara Jenkins made it as beautiful as one could. Private Life almost serves as a the ultimate gut check.
Private Life’s writing from Tamara Jenkins makes this movie as captivating as a movie can be but I did have some flaws in terms of its narrative/plot. I felt the movie could’ve started off with a little more character development for our two main characters opposed to being thrown into their journey right away. Then while the plot did everything it set out to be, it didn’t take any leaps or bounds to thicken the plot in the long run. That is my only flaw/gripe with the movie, it could’ve gone farther in thickening the plot.
The premier aspect of Private Life is the performances. Rachel Biegler gives a career highlight performance and it might as well have been her best. Paul Giamatti is by far the best here though. Him and his wife have gone through a lot but you can tell he’s trying to keep it together for the sake of their lives totally not collapsing. The biggest surprise though was Kayli Carter. Her performance was phenomenal. She brought probably the most genuine performance to Private Life and I can’t wait to see what she is in next.
Private Life can be a tough movie to watch at times but it’s reality. Tamara Jenkins manages to add some much needed humor without totally offsetting the subject matter. Private Life has one of the best and most heart racing endings in the past couple years that will leave you begging for answers. Overall, Private Life has it all and it’s a must watch for 2018 plus it’s on Netflix.