Friday, August 4, 2017
Directed By: William H. Macy
Written By: Casey Twenter, William H. Macy & Jeff Robinson
Cinematography By: Eric Lin
Editor: John Axelrad
Music By: Eef Barzelay
Cast: Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Laurence Fishburne, Selena Gomez, William H. Macy, Jamie Chung, Kate Micucci, Zoe Graham, Miles Heizer
A grieving father in a downward spiral stumbles across a box of his recently deceased son's demo tapes and lyrics. Shocked by the discovery of this unknown talent, he forms a band in the hope of finding some catharsis.
This movie is ultimately a survivors tale. Only not of a survivor, But of the tragedy at the heart of the story but more a survivor of the aftermath. Which at first destroys him, but ultimately brings him back to life also.
Where as at first it looks like it is going to be some Christian musical or about some late in life singer still trying to make it.
It is one of the more impressive Billy Crudup performances I have seen since JESUS' SON and ALMOST FAMOUS. Though here most of his performance is predictable he still manages to make you feel the pain and desperation of the character as well as his good qualities and despite it all you find yourself liking him and rooting for him. Even in his more corporate shark beginnings. He even does his own singing and guitar playing.
The film ends up becoming more of a father and son tale. Natural and surrogate. That has quite a few characters who all feel fleshed out and real. Even when they are supposed to be there to keep the story movie or cause conflict.
Even Selena Gomez who has more of a smaller supporting role is really good here. Though strange that she is a music superstar in real life and contributes no music for the film. Only here in an acting capability.
Anton Yelchin is Really likeable in his role here. Even if once again he is playing a role we have seen him play plenty of times. With this one he seems to make more of a mark.
This film feels lived in and even though so clean. It makes you comfortable even when it tries not too. It is surprisingly a film that is best to go into blind.
It seems like a feel good type of hallmark movie about getting out of a rut. So that it looks like it is going the traditional route working though the drama. Then the film plays it's ace and reveals more unexpected drama. You probably won't see coming that turns into a crisis that changes what you have seen before or at least gives it more depth as you understand more as you get the whole picture.
No matter what the film is likeable and the same can be said about the cast. As they nor it hit a false note.
Which is not surprising as it is directed by William H. Macy, who makes the film contemporary, yet makes the film more of an actors piece. By having strong characters and a theme. Not to mention some really good music that helps the mood of the story move along and be a bit more penetrating.
I can't say the directing is overtly visual or nuanced. It's just good and affecting. Never distracting
The films theme comes down to responsibility. Yet it has so many like details and factors that work in it's favor. To really get you emotionally. This is a film that you constantly want to see succeed and the same for the characters, but then it seems to rip your heart out and seems like it was designed that way.
Luckily the film is pretty cut and dry. It doesn’t offer too much to become distracted by or feel unneeded.