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Don't let the negative reviews put you off. I really can't understand
what people have against this comedy, it is quite a breath of fresh air
since comedy has changed so much in recent years and has become quite
This is a movie you really have to give a chance. These days if you find it hard to come across a new comedy movie you actually like, this movie had me laughing at more scenes than not. If you feel these days like comedy movies have lost something, like the set up of jokes and lines that are actually smart and funny then this might be the movie for you. If you like satire, sarcastic type humour that pokes fun at today's society and you are not too sensitive to swearing, you will enjoy it.
The plot is simple, but put across in heartfelt yet hysterical way. Wilson is a very blunt lonely man who has fell out of place in today's society, largely down to the fact he is a bit of a technophobe when it comes to computers and smart phones. He prefers good old fashioned human contact and he yearns for it throughout. All he wants is a regular family, which thanks to his ex wife he missed the chance on having years ago.
I'd say the movie seems to be more put towards a British audience with the style of humour, its cracks at religion and the world today and even the strong language used throughout but used intelligently.
The only reason I haven't give this movie a higher rating is due to the rather rushed ending it had. Otherwise I'd have given it a ten.
In 1944, legendary Hollywood producer Daryl F. Zanuck made a movie
called "Wilson", a biopic about our highly educated, dignified and
visionary 28th President and the film went on to win the Academy
Award for Best Picture. 2017's "Wilson" (R, 1:34) is NOT a remake of
that film. Not even a little. The more recent "Wilson" is also not a
spin-off of "Cast Away". The title character in 2017's "Wilson" doesn't
have any of the qualities of that President who led us through World
War I and who established the forerunner of the United Nations (except
honesty). And this Wilson has much more personality that Tom
Hanks' famous volleyball buddy. This Wilson is more like a less
volatile cousin of Michael Douglas' character in 1993's "Falling Down"
and is like a half-brother to Bill Murray's character in 2014's "St.
Vincent". But, notwithstanding those cinematic comparisons, "Wilson",
as portrayed by Woody Harrelson, is an original and unique character
and one who I wish I could be like
Wilson is a lonely middle-aged man with a lot of faults, but he doesn't mean any harm. Wilson is honest to a fault. He's impulsive to a fault. He's even empathetic to well, you get the point. You see, it's Wilson's world and we're just living in it. He'll stop a stranger walking her dog, talk only to the dog in a cutesy animal voice and then act confused when the woman yanks her dog away and looks at Wilson like he's a weirdo. Wilson will ride a virtually empty train, sit right next to a businessman wearing earbuds, interrogate him about his life and not feel the least bit uncomfortable when the man forcefully asks Wilson to go sit somewhere else. Wilson is also the kind of person who will go visit an old friend in hopes of renewing their relationship but then change his mind and calmly tell his friend that he had forgotten what a joyless and unkind person his friend really is. But in spite of all this, the most important thing to know about Wilson is that he just wants to be loved on his own terms, of course.
One fine day, Wilson decides to go looking for his ex-wife, Pippi (Laura Dern). He remembers Pippi as basically a crack whore and that's how he describes her to everyone he encounters who he thinks might know her. With the help of Pippi's very WASPy sister (Cheryl Hines), Wilson is able to track Pippi down to her waitress job, where she is using a different name, but is still kind of a mess. Pippi is none too happy to see Wilson or to endure the problems that his presence causes for her at work but she still falls right back into bed with him. That's when she reveals that she had Wilson's baby sixteen years before and put her up for adoption. Wilson is beyond excited that he's a father and talks Pippi into coming with him to find their daughter, a surly, heavy-set girl named Claire (Isabella Amara). Claire lives with upper-middle-class adopted parents who neglect her but she's still not thrilled to meet and be stalked by Wilson and Pippi. Nevertheless, Wilson is thrilled to have an "instant family" and won't give up on Pippi or Claire. And with a man like Wilson driving this train what could possibly go wrong?? "Wilson" is wonderfully crude, funny and heart-felt. Wilson acts like we all wish we could act sometimes. Personally, I envy his fearlessness and his ability to be himself and not care what other people think. Of course, he's also a jerk, he knows it and he doesn't care, so that part not quite as admirable. In adapting his own innovative graphic novel of the same name, American cartoonist Daniel Clowes gives us a fully-drawn character who never really changes who he is as a person, but who still manages some growth. As directed by Craig Johnson ("The Skeleton Twins") and starring the versatile Harrelson, we get a fully realized character who is equal parts funny and obnoxious, but who still comes off as sympathetic. Besides the usual great work by the star, Dern gives a transformative performance and Amara shines in her most significant role to date. Margo Martindale, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brett Gelman and (especially) Judy Greer contribute strong supporting performances. "Wilson" is an enjoyable foray into an uninhibited mind and a reminder why we wouldn't really want to live that way. "A-"
This film tells the story of a man who believes in human communication
through conversation and physical interaction. People think he is a
weirdo, but all he really wants is to connect with another soul, and be
remembered by after he leaves the mortal world.
"Wilson" sounds like a silly and forgettable comedy, but it actually is way seller and thought provoking than it appears. It points out the fact that people being nice to each other unconditionally is a forgotten art, and even socially unacceptable in some circumstances. Wilson's deep desire to connect with others certainly connected and resonated with me, and I find myself reflecting upon the current state of human interaction in the modern world. The story is bittersweet, and I really enjoyed it. It's a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
If anything Wilson, the story of a lonely middle-aged man reuniting
with his estranged wife to meet his daughter for the first time,
accomplishes something no movie has ever done. It manages to take Woody
Harrelson, a jewel of the large and small screen, and make him wholly
unlikable. This is no easy feat, especially considering that his
character's only real crime is being a watered-down Marc Maron
caricature. The man cavalierly ponders the big questions and graciously
oozes cookie cutter wisdom to anyone within earshot. He thinks he's
being avuncular but really he's just being really, really annoying.
This problem extends to the film itself. It thinks it's intelligent and it thinks it's giving us earth-shattering insights into the human condition. It lazily employs an unstructured narrative of Wilson-centric coming-of-age clichés and pads its screen time with tonally discordant moments that fly at you fast then disappear without consequence. The results is a frustrating soup of characters, conflicts, themes and rickety-old shtick that goes no where and accomplishes nothing.
Of course this could be the point; the movie purports to be about life. Ergo, if life is messy then so is this movie. Yet the films total lack of focus seeps to its DNA with scenes and plot points that announce themselves as loudly as possible and climax too quickly. In one scene, Wilson (Harrelson) learns that his only two friends (Rajskub and Gelman) are moving to St. Louis. He doesn't take it well, prodding them until they erupt in what felt like years of pent-up frustration. It's a good little scene but we're never given any time to savor it before the movie switches gears like the slides of a carousel projector.
And at the front giving the presentation is Wilson who, for better or worse is the smartest person in the film. No one dares call him out on his bulls**t, especially not Pippi (Dern) his wife who's just barely keeping things together after a series of bad life choices. At times, she reacts like a prisoner to Wilson's somewhat terrifying mid-life crisis. But by the end of the story she succumbs to the idea that her surly former lover may just be wiser beyond his year.
Yeah no, the man's a petulant, mean-spirited, less clever, less literate Bukowski character made near-flesh by someone who saw a Woody Allen movie once and thought, "gee, how can I take out all this pesky pithiness." I guess in that regard Wilson can be accredited for one more accomplishment. It managed to make the daily struggle of a middle-aged white man and make it appear trivial and redundant.
Wilson is the "feel good comedy of the year" filled with interesting
characters, quirky places and anchored by a strong, unique and
Oscar-worthy performance by Woody Harrelson.
What a mess this movie is. It tries so hard to be a "quirky comedy" that it focuses all of it's attention on the quirk and very little on what makes quirky comedies work - the characters.
Let's start with the biggest problem with this film - the central performance of Woody Harrelson as the titular Wilson. When we first see him, he is a "get off my lawn" grumpy old man. In the next scene, he is an inappropriate "close talker", in the next it seems he has no filter. In the next, he has a childlike wonder. All of these adds up to various "quirks" of the character, but none of them equal a character. What they do is confuse the audience as to what kind of character they are watching. So when Wilson finally has the heart-breaking moment that will change him - we are left to wonder if he is changed for the better, or the worse or is he even changed. And I concluded with the worst comment of all...
I don't care.
This film is based on a graphic novel and a screenplay by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) and the Direction is by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) - both of whom has done good work in the past, but this just isn't. The direction is all over the board bouncing from comedy to drama, but mostly landing in some mediocre middle area between the two, which drains the emotion from the proceedings. Writer Clowes must know this character in his head, and I'm sure it makes sense to him, but it sure didn't to me and this effort fails miserably.
There are some redeeming qualities, as the film is filled with strong performers in the supporting roles filled with the likes of Margot Martindale, Judy Greer, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Cheryl Hines, but they are on the screen all too briefly and I would have liked to have seen a film digging deeper into these characters (without Wilson). Only Laura Dern, as Wilson's ex-wife, acquits herself well. Her damaged, healing soul was the lone bright spot that made me sit up whenever she was on the screen.
This movie was filmed in the Twin Cities, so at least I had some fun picking out the locations on the screen. Unfortunately, the filmmakers, again, went for "quirky" so I become very cynical about what location was coming up next. I have the feeling the location scout was told to find "the odd, the weird and the quirky" in the Twin Cities. And, with that, they were successful.
Letter Grade: C-
3 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (ofMarquis)
Before i decided to watch this movie i read some IMDb reviews. It was a
mixed bunch and i wanted to see it because i believed in the positive
ones. Now that i have seen it, i can say they were totally right.
Wilson is the story of an ordinary man who doesn't really want to take part in our modern society, mainly because of technology taking away social interactions. The movie does well in showing us the perverted lifestyle we developed because of technologies and capitalism. It made me think about these topics a lot and even affected me personally.I shed quiet a lot of tears, i was cought off guard by the movie and that is something i do not experience a lot.
I would not describe this movie as a pure comedy, for me it is like 60% Drama and 40% comedy. In my opinion Wilson deserves a way higher rating.
The definition of a comedy is: a (type of) film, play, or book that is intentionally funny either in its characters or its action. So that be said, I would think Wilson has to make me laugh at least once, or if not a true laugh at least a smile. Well guess what, none of the above occurred. And that's not because I have no sense of humor, not at all, I can pretend I have a pretty good sense of humor. But Wilson is just not funny, not even slightly. If I had to live with somebody like Wilson I would probably beat him up and end in prison. That's how annoying that character is. Extremely annoying but absolutely not funny. The acting is okay though. If they asked Woody Harrelson to play an extremely annoying person then he managed it very well. The story is long and boring, you just wait for the movie to finish, as quick as possible. Will I ever watch this movie again? If I have problems falling asleep maybe.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a neurotic loner who has a dog for company.
He has a habit of talking to strangers that don't want to be bothered.
When his father passes away, Wilson tries to connect to his past,
including his crack smoking street prostitute ex-wife played by Laura
Dern with stringy hair. She gives him information that gives Wilson
hope for the future...a quest.
Wilson was a guy you could pity and laugh at with his neurotic tendencies, making the film a comedy which suddenly turns into violence in a few scenes, changing the tone of the film for a moment. We really know very little about Wilson, like his former occupation. He does stuff that is wrong, but doesn't realize how frequently he crosses lines. He lives a life of loneliness with fleeting moments of happiness. The film had its ups and downs and didn't work when it attempted to be a drama.
Guide: F-word. Sex. no nudity.
A slice of life is how I describe these movies, where one sees the
common and mundane in a certain context.
Wilson is the story of an average misunderstood man from another time who is shown as hurting and caring but perseveres to try and find meaning in his otherwise drab existence. An average man who, by today's standards, is the bogeyman but as this poster can attest, speaks of an era where people were unique and opinionated instead of self-absorbed and indifferent.
I am looking forward to a second viewing to further see the depth of Harrelson's Wilson. And if there are other Clowes/Eightball fans out there who haven't seen Wilson yet, I recommend it. I also hope The Death-Ray and Ice Haven are made into movies.
'WILSON': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A comedy-drama, based on the 2010 graphic novel (of the same name) by Daniel Clowes (who also wrote the screenplay). The film was directed by Craig Johnson, who also helmed the 2014 indie hit 'THE SKELETON TWINS', and it stars Woody Harrelson (in the title role). The movie tells the story of a lonely, neurotic and extremely honest middle-aged man, named Wilson, who goes looking for his teenage daughter, after just discovering he had one. Laura Dern, Judy Greer and Isabella Amara also costar in the movie. It's received a limited indie theatrical release at the Box Office, and it's gotten mostly mediocre reviews from critics. I also found the film to be far from perfect, but it's also at least somewhat entertaining and insightful.
Wilson (Harrelson) is a lonely middle-aged man, who's lived alone most of his life. He's neurotic, and he's also uncomfortably open, and honest, with almost everyone he meets; which causes most people to distance themselves from him. Wilson was briefly married, to another mentally unstable, and now drug addicted, woman named Pippi (Dern). Pippi and Wilson conceived a child together, years earlier, but Wilson was told the baby was aborted. When he finds out the child was born, and she's now living with adoptive parents nearby, he feels the obsessive need to meet her (Amara).
I've never read the graphic novel that the film is based on, but I did enjoy the quirky 2001 cult classic 'GHOST WORLD'; which Clowes also wrote the screenplay to (and the comic book it was based on). I do really like the Wilson character though, and I can really relate to him in many ways (but definitely not in every way). I think Harrelson does an outstanding job portraying him too, and the movie is quite involving because of it. It's a little too unbalanced though, to highly recommend it; it's just way too dark at times, in comparison to it's otherwise upbeat nature.
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