- 1h 42m
A cranky, retired author reluctantly embarks on a final book tour to help out a young publisher.A cranky, retired author reluctantly embarks on a final book tour to help out a young publisher.A cranky, retired author reluctantly embarks on a final book tour to help out a young publisher.
This film takes this and similar tropes and applies the movie cliché of incompatible partners/opposites coming to like each other as well as the old man and young woman dichotomy, both of whom are on their uppers, albeit in different ways. Formulas are proven and so we are set on our way.
While the premise is established, the journey, literally, does offer some fresher angles, at least in terms of the publishing business. The blunt speech, calling cant for what it is, the pervasiveness of social media and celebrity, the shallowness of our culture, are done comically and with effect. How the calque curse word took hold is a mystery.
The pacing and editing keep things going well as we move from one plot point to the next and although it's not necessarily new material, the energy does not flag. The photography and locations are striking, somber and moody, wintry light which adds a more realistic edge to the narrative.
But the reason to stay with this story are the performances. Casting can elevate a film even if the other aspects are a little staid and that's what is on show here. Caine and Plaza hold it together as both leads take us through the journey where their antagonism turns to friendship. It's sentimental, just like the movie poster of Caine grinning.
They are supported with a good team of actors too and while the humans did their job admirably, the cat deserves an award for a memorable and nuanced cameo performance; perhaps even Best Supporting Actor would be fitting, if species rules are not still enforced.
- Sep 16, 2021