20 September 2011

Movies: Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1531663/


Nick is an alcoholic that fell off the wagon, was fired from his job, returns home to find all his stuff on the lawn, the front door is locked, the locks are all changed, the credit cards are blocked, and there's a note from his wife telling him she's leaving him.  His AA sponsor, a police detective, tells him by law he can't live on his lawn, but he can hold a yard sale for a maximum of five days. At that point the lawn has to be cleared and Nick has to be living somewhere.  Kenny is a neighborhood kid that ends up befriending Nick and helping him with the yard sale.

Stars Will Ferrell. Young Christopher Jordan Wallace plays Kenny. Great supporting cast including Michael Pena, Stephen Root, Laura Dern.

C.J. Wallace has only one other film to his credit, he was in "Notorious" as Biggie, age 8-13. He also happens to be the son of Notorious B.I.G. Tell you what, that kid did great in this film. He did well in all his scenes with Will Farrell - performed a great supporting role.
All the cast did well. Farrell played this part straight. This isn't the "Anchorman" Ron Burgandy Farrell, or SNL Farrell, or Farrell in most movies to date. This is Dramatic Farrell and he plays it great. There is natural dramatic comedy in how the story plays out, and the casting works perfectly in synch with the script and feel of the film.

A lot of the back story is told has current events unfold, you get bits and pieces of Nick's life and how it fell apart to this moment as the story progresses, allowing the viewer little "ah, I see" moments as the gaps are filled.  That is done surprisingly well and doesn't have a bunch of exposition, which is a plus. There seems to be three acts to the film, and the moments the film moves from act to act are subtle, but still noticeable.

For the majority of the film the more I learned about Nick the less sorry I felt for him, despite how hard as the film tried to make me sympathetic.  His troubles were of his own making. But there arrived a point where, darn it, I did begin to feel sorry for him by the end. The film's conclusion worked for me too, it ends in a way that stays true to the story told.  Nick's coming to terms with the reality of his life and dealing with his relationships, old and new, parallels his having to sell off his belongings and deal with the memories associated with his stuff. While sorting through his stuff he sorts through his life, learning what is valuable and what isn't.  Plus there is the whole 'who is the teacher, who is the student' vibe in his relationship with Kenny.

It is a heartfelt story told well, has its amusing moments, doesn't go off the rails. Farrell's tempered and low-key performance is perfect for the film and keeps the funny moments funny and the serious moments serious.  Definitely one of Farrell's best performances that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his best comedic performances.

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