The movie is pretty much flawless, thanks to a wonderful work of Reed Morano in her directional debut and to the writer, also a debut, Chris Rossi, that delivered that beautiful and sad story.
A good director can save a shitty cast... A wonderful cast can't work with a lousy director. Don't know why i wrote that, 'cause there's nothing to do with the movie! Maybe, I was preparing my queue to say that the cast was also brilliant.
Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribsi, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Moss, Juno Temple... The boy... Ty Simpkins... This boy is everywhere! From blockbusters to smaller movies... Literally, he's in the biggest Box Office of the year and in the one of year's most praised movies by the critics. Still, I think he needs do more, play more parts, before he can be called a great actor.
As I was saying, with that amazing cast, the movie could have at least more ten minutes. Leguizamo and Ribsi... Man I love them... They are that guys who do an awesome work in comedy... You recognize them, you recognize the signature, is good, you love it... Then, they do a drama, and you are like "How is that possible? How can they be that funny and be also so great in that drama?". It goes to Luke Wilson also. I don't think he is funny at all, but he is more then the guy in Legally Blond... And the rest of the cast... One scene with Elizabeth Moss, a great scene... One with Juno Temple, also a very good scene... BUT, after all, was a movie about Olivia's and Luke's character. The focus were in that couple that passed through grief in its on terms. Man that movie hurts sometimes.
Allow me to make a comparison. We have Reed's Meadowland (2015), on the red corner, and John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole" (2010), in the blue corner. Both movies are about a couple trying to deal with the loss of a son. Meadowland has 105 minutes, including credits, while Rabbit Hole has 91, also with credits. Still, I feel like Rabbit Hole is the longest movie that I've ever watched in my life. AND I WATCHED THE EXTENDED LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY IN ONE WEEKEND! Rabbit is a sad movie and most of the time you just have to look away 'cause you are sick of it! Meadowland is a completely different story. I mean, the story is very alike, still is a different story, but what I meant was that "This is not the case with 'Meadowland'".
Meadowland is a sadistic voyeurism. You watch that couple "deal" with their loss, you watch'em "try" to move on, you watch'em hurt 'emselves and each other, you watch they grow apart, you watch Phil receiving alone the news about his son's death, while Sarah is f*cking the foster-father of the boy who she's obsessed with. AND TRY TO GO WITH THE KID TO AFRIKA! MAN THAT IT HEAVY STUFF... And still you're not able to blink, or even breathe sometimes through the movie, 'cause you don't want to loose anything.
And it is over.
You want more, but the story came to its end. You had the start, the development and the end. It came in a straight line, a clear path, but all you can think is "... man, I wouldn't mind to know a little bit more of the rest of the characters, as Tim or Alma, or Even Joe and Shannon..." But this movie is about Sarah and Phil, and in that case, mission accomplished.
As an epitome, "Meadowland" has the greatest performances of from the two protagonists, and a perfect debut from the director and writer.