The Hollars is a well acted late spring to early fall transition film. Not enough of a dramatic film to warrant a later fall impact, but witty and smart enough with it's humor to not be a lost summer flick. Instead John Krasinski has meddled a nice medium comedy/drama out of Jim Strouse's touching story. Click through for Gadi Elkon's full review.
The plot of Jim Strouse's The Hollars revolves around younger son, John (played by John Krasinski), returning home in wake of the family's matriarch being gravely ill. Margo Martindale delivers as subtle and short performance that easily has some of the more meaningful and memorable moments. Margo's ability to emote so much amazing power and love while in an immobile character. Her honest character has an incredibly special moment involving losing her hair. Sadly her character's fleeting moments are under whelming and lack the depth of her earlier moments in the movie. If Strouse's thoughtful script lacks it's a powerful moving ending, instead (like the film) The Hollars leans on the comedy.
Now the wonderful element of The Hollars is the comedy is worth seeing. Krasinski's all-American son is weirdly paired with the wild ass Sharlto Copley. Ron is the down and out older brother, but done by South African Copley is something hugely original. It's easy to say that Copley steals whole scenes and his interactions with angelic Josh Groban are some of the funniest. Krasinski and Copley's chemistry is slightly lacking and that is a unique element of the film. Krasinski's performance is the one under whelming role. He's not the crazy funny brother or the stoic mother or the over-emotional father (Richard Jenkins as usual is EXCELLENT). Krasinski only really shines his lovable nature when interacting with Anna Kendrick. Kendrick is a fun character who starts out as a distant supporting element that quickly transforms into a fun break from everything homely. Her one short moment with Richard Jenkins in a hospital waiting room is one of the more poignant scenes. The smaller supporting roles by Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are also great breaks from the family elements. Day's aloof mean character is the right touch of super out their to be funny. Winstead is basically the sexy old flame role, but you find yourself yearning for more of her. She is a rather captivating actress and given more meaty scenes could have made the love triangle element a real fun one to see unfold. Could have allowed for Krasinski to shine a bit more too. But, It's Richard Jenkins who steals the show and his manic emotional outbursts are the perfect laughter starters. The comedic punch line of the struggling lost dad is the one through plot that is fully realized throughout the film. The best scene of the film involves Jenkins receiving two letters from Margo Martindale's now deceased character. Jenkins striking jump from pure heartbroken crying to infectious laughing. That moment is worth the price of admission to the film.
The Hollars is a perfect family film and yet also a solid date night choice. The film is out in select cities.