Saturday, November 1, 2014

MINI-REVIEW: Rudderless


Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin


October 17, 2014

William H. Macy

Samuel Goldwyn Films

1 hour 45 minutes



You'd think that, with all of the films he's been a part of and the talent he's worked with, William H. Macy would have made his directorial debut a long time ago, right?  Well, it looks like he didn't find the right project to take full control over until now.  "Rudderless" was the closing night film of this year's Sundance Film Festival and stars the likes of Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, and Lawrence Fishburne to name a few.  The movie tells the tale of a man who, still trying to cope with the death of his only son, begins to sing some original compositions at a local bar.  A younger kid in his 20s hears this man's music and persuades him to form up a band with him.  However, what the younger individual doesn't realize is that the songs his musical "genius" friend is singing were actually written by the deceased son.  Without spoiling anything, let's just say that this movie's being labeled as a drama for a reason.

The performances in this movie are simply excellent, particularly from Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin.  Crudup especially brings a lot of soul and passion into his character and, in my eyes, gives the best performance of his career thus far.  The story itself is interesting and keeps the audience interested, and the way the script is written helps give the film a slight sense of mystery to it for reasons I can't explain without spoiling something major that occurs.  Not to mention, the music in the movie, which most of them are original compositions, are fantastic to listen to and elevate the tone of the film.  Overall, though there are some problems here including characters who aren't fully developed and an ending that leaves the viewer wanting more, I found "Rudderless" to be heartbreaking, affective, and a solid directorial debut by Macy.  If you happen to come across this film sometime soon, it is definitely something I'd recommend checking out.

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