Todd Louiso (shown at left), a fellow we most often think of as actor (recently seen in the excellent A Bag of Hammers), from a screenplay by fledgling writer and also an actress, Sarah Koskoff (shown below), the movie is at once oddball and endearing -- a combination rather often seen at the Sundance Film Festival. Sure enough, the movie opened this year's festival, where it received mixed notices and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
TrustMovies is uncertain just why the film drew those mixed
Melanie Lynskey (above), who is always good but here has the kind of rich and hefty role (she is on-screen practically all the time) that allows us to learn a great deal about her character. Sad and not seemingly adept at much of anything, she appears quite the lost girl. As we learn more, however, her disparate pieces pull together nicely.
Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein are both excellent. Ms Danner, above, slowly reveals the layers of pain and hurt that have built up over decades, and she turns from a kind of monster into something quite human. Mr. Rubinsitein, on the other hand does the opposite -- moving quietly from a good-guy dad to someone masking his selfishness and anger none too well.
Julie White, at a slightly lower key than I am used to seeing and hearing her, and this is welcome indeed) and her just-about-to-graduate-from-high-school son. The latter is played by the one "unknown" in this bunch, an actor named Christopher Abbott (shown above, and whom I do not remember from Martha Marcy May Marlene but now can be seen in HBO's sitcom Girls). Mr. Abbott's role is pivotal here -- for reasons that would be a spoiler to divulge -- and this young actor is phenomenally good in it. The character he creates is unlike any I have seen. He's an original, and so it would seem is young Abbott, who should soon be quickening minds and pulses, if not setting hearts ablaze.
Oscilloscope Laboratories and running 95 minutes, Hello I Must Be Going opens in New York (at the Angelika Film Center) and Los Angeles (at The Landmark) this Friday, September 7. You can view all the currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters included by clicking here.