A character-driven debut from a young writer-director shows real promise
Josh Boone (USA, Special Presentations)
Sunday, September 9, 6 p.m.
Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard St. E.)
Monday, September 10, 3 p.m.
Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard Street East)
You’d expect a good screenplay from a film with a title like this, just as you might expect stunning visuals from a movie called Cinematographers. Writers does not disappoint. It’s a light-hearted dramedy with solid performances all around, and its realistic depiction of an intelligent family trying to negotiate the perils of living together has a definite literary quality.
William (Greg Kinnear) is a renowned novelist who has been mired in a funk since being left by his wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly), a few years ago. Their son, Rusty (Nat Wolff), has taken things better than their daughter, Sam (Lily Collins), who refuses to speak with her mother. William is now in the habit of peeping through Erica’s window for any signs of discontent in her new relationship, clinging to any desperate hope for reconciliation. Sam, who is having her first book published at just 19, avoids commitment with men by sleeping only with her intellectual inferiors until she meets Lou (Logan Lerman). Rusty worships Stephen King and is experiencing his first love with the troubled Kate (Liana Liberato).
Writers is an assured debut from writer-director Josh Boone. He has a veritable all-star team at his disposal to support him: Kinnear is utterly believable as an intellectual, but the kids nearly steal the show from their more experienced counterparts, with both Collins and Wolff delivering layered performances. The story may be a little predictable as it tries to settle on a suitable ending, but it’s hard to quibble too much about the destination when the journey is so absorbing.