Starring: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer, Isabella Amara
Director: Craig Johnson
A misanthropic man called Wilson is finds himself longing for connection but unable to get out of his own way, til his wife mentions that they have a kid he didn’t know about and he sets out to meet his teenage daughter who was adopted out. In the process, he makes plenty of mistakes, meets new people, and slowly learns some lessons about himself.
It’s one of the smaller dramas of the last year, and Woody Harrelson is his usual amusing self, which is a nice thing and is perhaps the main reason to watch the film. Because of the nature of the character he plays, it’s not really a heart warming film, and because of the preoccupation with loneliness and belonging, it’s not really a laugh out loud comedy. And there are times when it lags a little, too.
But on the whole, it’s a nice little film. There’s something nice about a central character who you’d hate to have as a neighbour but sometimes says out loud what you’re thinking but would never say. And it’s nice to see him stumble around demanding a sense of belonging he doesn’t deserve and finally finding it in the last place you’d think.
Honorable mention to his sidekick and ex-wife played by Laura Dern, who manages to be warm and fragile in equal measure, drawn along by the force of Wilson’s personality and has a wonderful scene with her awful, judgemental sister.
See It If: this is Harrelson’s vehicle and one that is for his fans, perhaps. If you like misanthropic characters and a little dark humour, you’ll like this. But other wise there may not be enough here for some of you.