Films with families coming together where one sibling his been absent
for years that has in turn led to rivalry and jealously are not exactly
new ground but in 'The Hollars' it never feels overly familiar thanks
largely to the golden rule of film making, that a good script is King.
The movie directing debut of John Krasinski, who also acts see's him
play John Hollar, a struggling insecure graphic novelist, with a
pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) living in New York. Upstate his
father (Jenkins, brilliant as always) is running a failing family
business, while his brother (Sharlto Copley) Ron, has just been fired
by the Dad for warning him they're days away from bankruptcy. Ron has
his own problems, going through a divorce from his wife and missing his
two daughters, resulting in some what dysfunctional behaviour. It is in
this setting that the patriarchal mother of the household (Margo
Martindale, so natural & so brilliant she makes acting looks
effortless) discovers she has a brain tumour, forcing the brothers
together and the father to re- evaluate himself and the mistakes he may
have made before its too late. A subplot involves John meeting his old
flame who has now married high school friend turned hospital nurse
(Charlie Day) who in turn is a bit of a dick. Will John resolve his own
issues and see what is right in front of him, how will the father cope
with his impending loss and can Ron find a peaceful solution to his
messy divorce & cope with his wife's new love in the form of the
affable local Priest (Nicely underplayed by Josh Groban) - Such are the
dilemmas facing this familiar feeling family.
How dramas of this type work often depend on how engaging the characters are and connecting with them at an early stage. Krasinski cleverly never makes you like anyone in-particular too much or too little, tugging at the heart strings just right. Krasinski assembled a top notch group of actors here who clearly know their craft. This could have been a play on stage, but has enough drama to work well on screen. Copley plays a role very different from previous performances and handles the American accent with ease, while Kendrick proves she can handle a more demanding role outside of the Twilight Saga spectrum. Some characters feel a little underwritten, Ashley Dyke does well to make you notice her in a part with little characterisation, but essentially this is a film about The Hollars (Hence the title) and they are rightly the focus of the piece.
I have no doubt that Margo Martindale will be criminally under looked when it comes to award season for her role of the mother. One of those actresses who I have seen hundreds of times, has assured I will always know her name after this performance. The film may not break much new ground, but it is certainly among the best within its genre and fortunately, it wasn't set during Thanksgiving with a scene involving a turkey. Recommended.
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Aspiring NYC artist John Hollar returns to his middle America hometown on the eve of his mother's brain surgery. Joined by his girlfriend, eight months pregnant with their first child, John is forced to navigate the crazy world he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, and over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of his mother's operation.
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December 07, 2016 at 08:14 PM