There are dysfunctional families... and then there are the Conways. After a family tragedy, 15-year-old Billy Conway has become the de facto glue between his bitter mom, distant brother, ... See full summary »
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Rudy De Luca
Ed Begley Jr.
There are dysfunctional families... and then there are the Conways. After a family tragedy, 15-year-old Billy Conway has become the de facto glue between his bitter mom, distant brother, and stoic dad. But when Billy starts to act out, everything changes for him and his family. Written by
Monumental... when I stopped laughing I cried great buckets.
'Monumental' was the word that flashed through my mind during the emotional climax. The film itself or the emotional place it had taken me to, I don't know, but that was the word. Mostly I laughed my way through the film but when I stopped laughing I cried great buckets. I also had to keep relaxing the tension in my face and body as I found it a very stressful journey. Right from the beginning we learn that there will be no easy outs, anything and everything can happen. Like all good films this one let me leave my inner critic at the door and completely surrender to the unfolding twisting tale of searing black comedy and bitter soulful tragedy.
Geena Davis has always been brilliant but has she ever had such a brilliantly written role? Has any female actor? What starts as a dragon that breathes caustic wit unravels to reveal a woman that despite all odds continues to be the foundation, mortar and soulful centre for everyone. I found her character so utterly real and so refreshing for a female lead. She had balls, vulnerability, sex appeal, intelligence and of course great wit.
It must be hard for any nationality to see themselves played by others. One character is one thing but a whole neighbourhood and era could seem presumptuous. I couldn't comment on US reaction, accents or historical correctness, however, I did find it interesting to apply Australian storytelling to a universal tale and then set it in North America. What you get is an almost unbearably tragic but ultimately stoic tale told through an unrelenting, disposable wit and a brevity of emotion which never once falls into sentimentality or over indulgence.
It is sumptuous to watch in its cinematography and art direction and the young cast is deftly directed to deal with some of life's cruelest blows. What matters most is the story and there is so much meat to chew on in terms of character, plot and themes. It moves so swiftly from one cataclysmic event to the next proving not only that in life the only constant is change but also that it is bloody hard to keep up with that change; that life is uncontrollable and we are at its mercy to make sense of its absurdity. This film has a great future for a hip audience. From a viewer's entertainment perspective this film is monumental.
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