• Review: The Hollars (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 18 11:15:32 2016
    THE HOLLARS (2016)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    **1/2 (out of ****)

    Most of the principal cast of NBC's long-running series "The Office" wound
    up directing an episode or two, including John Krasinski, who played
    perennial nice guy Jim Halpert (Krasinski actually directed three episodes: "Sabre," "Lotto," and "The Boat"). For his directorial feature film debut,
    the likeable actor bravely tackled a David Foster Wallace
    adaptation--2009's "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men"--but the film's
    critical reception was lukewarm at best. Not discouraged, Krasinski is
    back behind the camera--as well as in front of it--with "The Hollars," a dysfunctional family drama that follows aspiring graphic novelist John
    Hollar (Krasinski) as he returns home from the Big City to his
    middle-American roots when his mother (Margo Martindale) is hospitalized
    after a seizure and requires a brain op. Krasinski has elicited some fine performances for his sophomore project, including the ever-reliable
    Martindale, Richard Jenkins as his blubbery father, and Sharlto Copley (the Neill Blomkamp films) as his older brother, Ron. Also assembled are Anna Kendrick, Charlie Day, Josh Groban, and Randall Park, with Mary Kay Place
    and Mary Elizabeth Winstead relegated to brief individual scenes.
    Krasinski's direction is surefooted but Jim Strouse's script lacks
    consistency, with surprising moments of tenderness butting up against
    scenes dripping with saccharine sentimentality (tire swing, anyone?). As a result, the novice director winds up serving lukewarm seconds.

    David N. Butterworth

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