The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of some really great independent films and long wait list lines. The grand total of the amount of films I have seen during my time at Sundance is 11, which I’m quite proud of. Not bad for a Sundance-newbie. There’s quite a few that I have watched to do a recap on but out of everything that I watched, two films have really stuck out to me as tied for my favorite film of the festival: Hello I Must Be Going and The Words. From all the discussions I have had with people on the bus and waiting in line, the overall consensus with these films have been pretty positive so I’m not alone in thinking these films were stand-outs.
I watched Hello I Must Be Going early Friday morning at the Eccles Theatre. Because I arrived there fairly early, I had good middle seats in the most beautiful theater I have ever seen. The Eccles is the largest theater venue playing films and holds over 1,200 people. If you must watch or premiere a film at Sundance, the Eccles is the place to be. The film I watched is about Amy Minsky’s (played by Melanie Lynskey) journey as she tries to get on with her life after a recent divorce. She has no ambition and is content with moving back into her parent’s home even though she is 35 years-old. However, things begin to change and Amy’s life starts to get back on track when she begins a romantic relationship with a teenage boy. Directed by Todd Louiso and written by screenwriter Sarah Koskoff, Hello I Must Be Going is a definite crowd-pleaser that makes you root for the characters. I thought the writing was very smart and the direction was on par with delivering the emotions of the characters and bringing the loudest laughs with some camera angles and changes.
Hello I Must Be Going is a great piece revealing how much of a talent the actress, Melanie Lynskey, is. In my opinion, she was absolutely amazing and effortlessly switched between comedy and drama throughout the film. She has done various films but is most known for playing Rose on Two and a Half Men which definitely does not do her any justice in showing her talent. Not only does Lynskey’s performance make an impact, but it welcomes newcomer Christopher Abbott who plays the teenage lover in the film. The chemistry between these two characters is believable and real. Despite their age differences, it is Abbott’s character, Jeremy, who shows maturity and appreciates Amy for who she is and I thought Abbott did a terrific job portraying that. Last but not least, Blythe Danner who plays Amy’s mother delivers a hilarious performance as the crazy and absurd mother who is full of wise-cracks. She says pretty horrible things at times but the audience could not stop laughing at what she was saying. Her character definitely highlights the comedic elements of the story but Danner never veers towards overwhelming. Overall, the cast delivered exceptional performances and I truly enjoyed watching this film.