Anywhere but Here (film)

Anywhere But Here is a 1999 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, based on the novel of the same name by Mona Simpson. The screenplay was written by Alvin Sargent, and the film was directed by Wayne Wang. It was produced by Laurence Mark, Petra Alexandria, and Ginny Nugent. It stars Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, and Shawn Hatosy.

Anywhere But Here
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWayne Wang
Screenplay byAlvin Sargent
Based onAnywhere But Here
by Mona Simpson
Produced byLaurence Mark
CinematographyRoger Deakins
Edited byNicholas C. Smith
Music byDanny Elfman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 12, 1999 (1999-11-12)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$23 million
Box office$23.6 million

Filming began in late June 1998. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 17, 1999, before being released in the United States on November 12.


Adele August (Susan Sarandon) is an eccentric woman who, with her reluctant daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman), is anxious to leave their small Wisconsin town and move to Beverly Hills to realize her dreams. However, it becomes apparent that Adele is uncertain of what those dreams are – expressing ideas such as marrying a rich man – and often makes impulsive decisions, such as purchasing a used Mercedes she cannot afford in order to drive to Beverly Hills.

While upset with Adele's decisions, the more practical Ann finds she cannot leave her mother and resents her for leaving her stepfather behind. Also, she still loves her father, who left them when Ann was small.

When living in Beverly Hills, Adele improvises from day to day, often unable to pay the bills. She dates a successful dentist, but learns that he doesn't love her and has dumped her for a younger woman. Things get complicated when Adele has a fight with her brother-in-law Jimmy, and Ann starts dating her crush, Peter.

Forcing her daughter to enroll in Beverly Hills High School, where a lot of rich kids and movie star kids go, Adele hopes that Ann will become an actress and attend UCLA, despite Ann's interest in going away to Brown University. Although Adele fails in many respects, she eventually accepts her daughter's plans and decides to help her.



Box officeEdit

The film opened at #5 at the North American box office and made $5.6 million USD in its opening weekend.

Critical responseEdit

The film received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 64% based on reviews from 89 critics. The website's consensus reads: "The strong chemistry between Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman as a mother and daughter trying to make a fresh start in L.A. helps to elevate Anywhere But Here above its occasional forays into melodrama."[2]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars and noted "The movie's interest is not in the plot, which is episodic and 'colorful,' but in the performances. Sarandon bravely makes Adele into a person who is borderline insufferable. Sarandon's role is trickier and more difficult, but Portman's will get the attention. In 'Anywhere But Here,' she gets yanked along by her out of control mother, and her best scenes are when she fights back, not emotionally, but with incisive observations."[3]


Golden Globe Awards

  • Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Natalie Portman

Young Artist Awards

  • Nominated - Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress - Natalie Portman

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

  • Nominated - Best Contemporary Hair Styling (Feature) - Paul LeBlanc


Filming locationsEdit


Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 2, 1999
ProducerDanny Elfman, Steve Power, Lisa Loeb, Michael Beinhorn, Malcolm Burn, Marius de Vries, Joe Hardy, Jay Joyce, k.d. lang, Pierre Marchand, Rick Nowels, Carmen Rizzo, Glenn Rosenstein, Don Was, Wilbur C. Rimes, Ellen Segal, Pocket Size, Billy Harvey
Singles from Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture
  1. "Leaving's Not Leaving"
    Released: September 28, 1999[4]
Professional ratings
Review scores

A soundtrack to the film was released on November 2, 1999,[6] ten days before the theatrical release. The soundtrack was distributed by Atlantic Records and Wea.

The soundtrack features original music by Lisa Loeb, Danny Elfman and k.d. lang. It also featured tracks by artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Sarah McLachlan, and Pocket Size, as well as other various artists. Rimes' song, "Leaving's Not Leaving", was released as a B-side track with her single, "Big Deal", on September 28, 1999.[4]

No.TitleWriter(s)Recording artist(s)Length
1."Anywhere But Here" k.d. lang3:45
2."Walking" Pocket Size4:14
3."Scream and Shout" 21st Century Girls3:25
4."Leaving's Not Leaving" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell)Diane WarrenLeAnn Rimes4:53
5."I Wish" Lisa Loeb2:27
6."Free" Marie Wilson3:56
7."Amity" Carly Simon and Sally Taylor3:17
8."Ice Cream" Sarah McLachlan2:43
9."Furniture" Kacy Crowley3:29
10."Twisted Road" Patty Griffin2:48
11."Strange Wind" Poe3:59
12."Everything Around Me Is Changing" Sinéad Lohan4:42
13."Come Here" Lili Haydn, Rick Boston4:22
14."Chotee" Bif Naked3:50
15."Anywhere But Here Score Suite" Danny Elfman7:35
Total length:59:25


  1. ^ "Anywhere But Here". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "Anywhere But Here (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. April 18, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 12, 1999). "'Anywhere But Here'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Big Deal / Leaving's Not Leaving: Leann Rimes: Music". Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "Anywhere But Here - Original Soundtrack". Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Anywhere But Here: Music from the Motion Picture: Danny Elfman: Music". Retrieved October 25, 2011.

External linksEdit