A fairly quiet month in September, with only two films…
First up, The Way, Way Back is a coming-of-age indie film, about a dorky boy who, with the help of Sam Rockwell’s character finds the self-confidence he badly needs. It does the dweeb-stands-up-for-himself trope reasonably well, but balances it with some difficult family moments. The performances are all decent enough, with Steve Carrell standing out as being cast against-type but doing well. As these kind of films go, this one is remarkably good. (See my The Way, Way Back Twitter review).
Finally, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints has Casey Affleck as an outsider who suffers for someone else’s mistakes. As he goes to prison, he leaves behind a family who have to cope without him. The problem is that nothing in the story makes you care particularly about the suffering of either of the leads, and the film has little else going on. Without any reason to buy into the narrative, the movie feels unnecessarily drawn-out and dull. Entirely forgettable. (See my Ain’t Them Bodies Saints Twitter review).
The winner is The Way, Way Back for a good take on a well-trodden genre.