Reeves shakes up suburbia in star-studded film

Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:24am EST
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By Kerstin Gehmlich

BERLIN (Reuters) - Keanu Reeves plays a young, tattooed shop assistant who turns the suburban world of his quiet neighbor upside down in Rebecca Miller's new film "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee."

Pippa Lee, played by Robin Wright Penn, has just moved to a retirement community with her successful publisher husband Herb, a man 30 years her senior where her life revolves around serving perfectly cooked lamb and decorating her home.

But as she befriends aging neighbors and enrols in a pottery class with women old enough to be her mother, she starts to question her role as respectable mother, wife and hostess.

The arrival of Reeves' character Chris, an unkempt 35-year-old who drives a beaten-up van and sports a giant Jesus tattoo on his chest, brings her angst into focus.

"Chris is part of her dream," Reeves told reporters at the Berlin film festival, where the film -- which also features Monica Bellucci, Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore and Alan Arkin as Lee's husband Herb -- screened this week.

"In this film, freedom means the possibility to experience yourself... to go find yourself," said Reeves, who appeared on the red carpet in Berlin with a full beard.

Asked whether he preferred the beard to the Jesus tattoo of the film, he told Reuters, "Probably the beard is going to win."

Reeves said he had not been able to refuse when Miller, the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, had asked him to be in the film, based on her novel of the same name.   Continued...

<p>Director Rebeca Miller (R) speaks to actors Keanu Reeves (L) and Blake Lively as they arrive for the screening of the movie 'The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee' at the 59th Berlinale film festival in Berlin, February 9, 2009. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>