The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.
The film's plot is actually based on events in Jake Johnson's own life. The film follows a married couple, played by Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt, who are having a hard time coexisting after the arrival of their son Jude. The wife, Lee, is a yoga teacher and one of her clients is letting the family stay at her vacation home for two weeks. The husband, Tim, digs around the property and finds a bone and an old gun. When Lee leaves to spend time with her family Tim invites a group of friends over, and though Lee has stated that he shouldn't dig anymore, he and his friends do anyway, and find quite a bit of evidence. The rest of the film sees both Tim and Lee try to find themselves in the company of others, as they attempt to piece together what they want from life.
I mean, that's the interpretation that I came up with in watching this film. Swanberg eschews traditional storytelling and rhythm in order to delve into the inner psyche of the subjects covered in his films. To do this he often focuses between two and four characters. In this film there are two central characters, but there's also a large ensemble cast who do nothing but throw off noise. Chris Messina shows up for a good ten seconds of screen time, and Anna Kendrick does her cameo in stride, but they don't add anything to the story besides showing that Tim isn't a hermit. Brie Larson probably has the largest role as a friend of a friend who helps Tim flirt with the idea of infidelity as she becomes his confidant. Sam Rockwell is an explosive if unneeded presence, as a friend who becomes jealous of the Tim and Brie's relationship.
Though there are some stark moments among the pretentious drivel, this is the worst example of the mumblecore movement I've seen yet. It reinforces the criticisms of most, as it's unfocused, monotonous, and slow. Johnson's usual charm is masked by a performance that weaves in between interesting and wayward. DeWitt isn't much better as the controlling and yet unfocused wife. If there had been a little more plot, a little more explanation, this would have been a much more interesting and deep film.
- Sep 27, 2016