Tribeca Film Review: ‘Almost Christmas’

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Almost Christmas’
A belated follow-up by Phil Morrison to his 2005 feature “Junebug,” “Almost Christmas” is an odd-couple two-hander pairing two Pauls, Rudd and Giamatti, as ex-partner thieves from rural Quebec. Giamatti plays Dennis, a morose, down-on-his-luck loser just out of the pen, while Rudd is Rene, a cheerful, devil-may-care optimist who stole the affections of Giamatti’s ex-wife and daughter. As the two embark on a month-long trip to New York City to sell Christmas trees, this engaging if somewhat underwhelming tale of unlikely redemption builds a funny-sad web of intersecting interactions around its strong central perfs. Result could translate into a solidly marketable holiday release.

At the outset, Giamatti’s Dennis finds himself without money, gainful employment or future prospects; as he soon discovers, he’s also completely estranged from his former family, since his wife, Therese (Amy Landecker), has told their young daughter, Michi (Tatyana Richaud) that he died of cancer.
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