Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rudderless - Movie Review

Rudderless is a dramatic story, directed by William H. Macy, about finding a way to recover from a tragic loss. Macy also appears in the film alongside Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Jamie Chung, Selena Gomez, and Laurence Fishburn.

In Seattle, you will find it playing at the SIFF Cinema at the Uptown and the Sundance Cinemas Seattle beginning on October 17th.

After losing his son to a terrible incident, Sam (Crudup) begins a downward spiral that leads to losing his wife, his job, and pretty much everything else in his life except for his boat. This floating shelter is where he ends up spending every waking moment either drunk or in search of more alcohol, at least until his ex wife Emily (Huffman) drops off a bunch of their son Josh's belongings so that maybe he can work his way through the grief he has yet to accept. What he finds is the music Josh had been writing and recording in his dorm room before his untimely demise and these recorded words and sounds that Sam never knew existed send him on an inspired yet still uncertain path.

When Sam decides to play one of his son's songs at a local bar's open mic session, he catches the ear of a young man named Quentin who is filled with big dreams but lacks the motivation to turn them in to a reality. After convincing Sam to play a few songs with him at the bar, they begin to develop a bit of a following and Quentin convinces Sam to form a full band so they can play regular shows. Of course, when everything really begins to gel is also when a dark secret Sam has been hiding begins to resurface and it may put an end to everything they have all worked so hard to put together.

William H. Macy has been a very highly respected actor for decades and, if Rudderless is any indication, that level of respect will carry right on over to his new found career as a director. If I hadn't known going in, I never would have thought this was anyone's first effort behind the lens as Macy has really put together a seamless story that is packed with emotion, great performances, and a soundtrack that is essential to the film's success. The other key to this story working is the cast which is pretty much spot on perfect as Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, and everyone else do a great job of delivering very honest portrayals of who these people are and in being able to convey the emotions they are going through as the story unfolds.

Rudderless is the type of movie that your mind casually wanders in to and, before you realize what has happened, you drawn completely in by the emotion and power of the story to the point where you can't help but really care for these people and the struggles they are set to endure. I found this movie to be very thoughtful and at times dark, yet is ultimately an inspiring work of art.


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