DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: SUNDANCE 2012: Hello I Must Be Going

Saturday 21 January 2012

SUNDANCE 2012: Hello I Must Be Going

Hello, I Must Be Going (2012) dir. Todd Louiso
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Abbott, Blythe Danner, John Rubenstein


By Alan Bacchus

Flashbacks to the invigorating experience of last year's Grand Jury Prize winner Like Crazy result from this finely crafted cinematic character study and treatise on love. It's a marvelous picture, which, despite the sense of a pending tragedy, doesn't sacrifice its sharp funny bone. It’s a real winner featuring an infectious performance from Melanie Lynsky.

Three months into divorce proceedings has left Amy Minsky (Lynskey) a shell of a woman. Lounging around her parents' house in oversized sweats, out of shape and with a perpetual vacant expression on her face makes her ripe for a cinematic reincarnation. This comes in the form of Jeremy (Abbott), a nineteen-year-old actor invited to their home by her parents for a dinner party. After so much wallowing in self-pity the attraction from just a few glances across the table is palpable. And their quick movement to sexual consummation is intoxicating.

With love juices flowing it's a hardcore love affair full speed ahead. So what's the catch? The problem is that Amy's parents are in a courtship of their own with Jeremy's parents for a key business deal that could ensure the security of the family. As a mature woman with life experience this weighs heavily on Amy. For Jeremy, he wants to throw caution to the wind with the idealism of youth.

This is the core conflict that makes for such a fascinating love story. Two lovers at different stages in life in a different world destined to be with each other. But director Louiso's cold dose of honest reality transforms the rather melodramatic romcom-style plotting into a rock solid real-world scenario.

But this is Melanie Lynskey's film, and she owns our attention from start to finish. Despite spending much of the movie in the 'blahs', Lynskey is interminably infectious and we yearn for her to find solace and reconciliation with her troubles.

Louiso directs the film smartly with little interference to the actors, perhaps a modus operandi of his when one looks back at the performance he drew out of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Love Liza. This picture proves Louiso is a major talent and Lynskey a full-fledged leading lady. Hello I Must Be Going is one of the best new films at this festival.

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