Grind to Watchmen to Thin Ice) yet just never seems to live up to his movie potential, and the name Billy Crudup can't help but come to mind. The wait is now over with the theatrical release of RUDDERLESS, the newest addition, as well as one of the more original, to the continuing spate of Columbine-inspired films, from Elephant to Beautiful Boy to We Need to Talk About Kevin. Mr. Crudup (on poster above, left, and below) has often given remarkable performances (in Jesus' Son, for example), yet movie after movie failed to find much of an audience. Let's hope Rudderless breaks that streak.
Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison) is a long-time favorite of ours and of many other film buffs: William H. Macy. Best known as a fine actor (with already 132 IMDB credits), a sometimes writer and now a director (although he did direct a TV movie back in 1988), in one quick jump (which he's no doubt been practising for over the decades), he is, as they say, a triple threat. Visually, verbally, even musically -- for music is as important to this film as it is to any musical -- Rudderless is a winner. The several original songs here, by Simon Steadman, Charlton Pettus and Fink, are all keepers. You're going to want to hear them again, immediately after viewing the movie.
Felicity Huffman (above) plays mom, from whom Crudup's character has long been split, while Selena Gomez (below) essays the role of the son's ex-girlfriend. Both are fine but this is basically a man-and-boy movie in which the men and boys make some terrific music, while the major man works through his demons to try to arrive at some kind of truth, some raison d'etre.
Anton Yelchin (above), as the young man who first discovers Crudup's songs and voice and keeps pushing him to form a band, and Laurence Fishburne, as the owner of the local music supply shop. Both are in fine fettle, and Yelchin all but steals the movie, were Crudup not so moment-to-moment real.
Samuel Goldwyn Films and running 105 minutes, the movie opens this Friday, October 17, in theaters and via digital HD and VOD. In New York City, look for it at the AMC Empire 25 and the Village East Cinema; in Los Angeles it'll play the Sundance Sunset Cinema. Elsewhere? Yes: all across the country. Click here and then scroll down to see the entire list of cities and theaters.