Thanks to 20th Century Fox and Dendy Cinemas we had the chance to see ‘Wilson’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
The film centres around the character of Wilson (played by Woody Harrelson), a single man who isn’t happy with how his life has turned out (i.e. his only companion is his dog). Out of fear of ending up alone, he tracks down his ex-wife (Laura Dern). The two end up searching for the lost daughter they put up for adoption 17 years earlier.
The film is a comedy/drama and defiantly original. Its slow pace and minimal action doesn’t follow the traditional conventions of the “Hollywood film”. Director Craig Johnson presents a slice of life in a way that aims to be as realistic as possible. The film has some great moments of comedy and Harrelson’s sarcastic delivery of many one liners are hysterical.
Wilson’s relationship with his ex-wife is explored in a realistic and truthful way. The film isn’t a love story about them getting back together. Instead it explores moments of love and the continued affection they have for each other. Furthermore, the couple’s new relationship with their daughter is explored realistically – exploring the rocky road to connection. The is shown in a humorous scene when Wilson takes his 17 year old daughter to a kids fair (much to her disdain).
The acting is terrific. Harrelson is able to balance the character of Wilson in a way that is both loveable and interesting as well as annoying and sarcastic. Laura Dern also delivers a great performance as a damaged women struggling with mental illness.
“Wilson’s” slow pace, length and uneven tone is the films downfall. The film is about twenty minutes too long, obviously dragging in places. Without giving spoilers, the film throws in a very random/out of place subplot which was just added to give the film a meatier plot. Although this subplot does have slight relevance to Wilson by the end of the film, it was quickly brushed over and didn’t have the lasting impact it intended.
The film’s uneven tone comes through the mix of comedy and drama. The comedy really gels with the film while the more serious elements feel forced. The serious parts don’t go deep enough, as though the director feared losing the light comedic fear.
“Wilson” is an enjoyable film but its lackluster pace and forced dramatic elements are its downfall. I wouldn’t give “Wilson” a high recommendation but it’s worth seeing for the acting performance of Harrelson.
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