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Toni Colette is a rock critic with a past: an old boyfriend who disappeared on the brink of massive rock stardom. As her career stalls -- and her over-it-all editor Oliver Platt demands something sizzling -- she is sent out to see if the rumors are true. Is the rock star alive? Hiding? Posing as someone else? Over the course of the film -- produced by Paul Newman's widow Joanne Woodward -- Colette not only has a rich former paramour pay for her research while making a documentary of the process, she has an up-and-coming singer/songwriter woo her in spite of her own aggressive indifference. Sorting through issues of intimacy, striving, fame and our place in the world, what could be little more than an update of "Eddie & the Cruisers" turns into a film where the answers shift, the truths evolve and in the end, Colette finds out the real solution isn't whether or not the rocker is alive, but where she puts her own faith and pining. Colette us largely undervalued as an actor. Here her transparency is often her willingness to be self-indulgent, shallow, vulnerable and in denial. Always a true reporter, she knows how to chase a story -- and does, in fact, find what she's looking for: clarity on the missing musician's whereabouts. In the end, though, is it the physical being that matters? Or more the spectre of what was, and the ways that ghost colors/permeates her present and future? These questions are slowly examined in the film, the ending of which isn't the cliche. Well worth the time and the money spent.
This movie wasn't what I expected, but in a good way. Reading the description of " a has-been rock journalist sent to hunt down a long-vanished local rock star (and old flame)" I thought this would be more about a search and rediscovery of an old love - with the story more so being about these two people connecting. I won't give it away, but the movie is solely about the hunt. Ellie has to write a hard-hitting story or face loosing her job. She's given the elusive rocker Matthew Smith to track down and make a story about. Turns out they were once an item, so it has a little bit of a different meaning to Ellie and she's not really into it but does it. Along the journey, Ellie (Toni C) meets some new faces and faces history with some old. It's these interactions (both comedic and dramatic but always real) that brings the viewer in. It's all very natural responses to various situations and Toni is the scene maker. Excellent job.
I love this movie! I bought it based on that I liked the actors and the story sounded good, I wasn't disappointed! There are some slow spots and parts that don't quite add up because the scenes change to something else but there is a surprising twist and reveal of who she has been looking for that makes this movie worth watching! Toni Colette does an outstandingly believable job in the emotional crying scene(s), Thomas Hayden Church is a nice addition to the movie, he is funny and endearing! worth watching for these two actors and the surprise guest appearance!
Goodfor a few laughs, but personally I felt little sympathy for the Toni Collete role. I watched it with two friends and we all agreed that it was okay, but no big deal. The few surprises were Johnny Depp and the tribute to Paul Newman in the end that went by too fast to read and with the Amazon streaming we were unable to go back and read it. Still wondering what it said. Also, for fellow people with hearing problems I was unable to get subtitles. This has happened on several things that I have streamed through Amaon and I wish Amaon would work on it.
I loved this movie!! Toni Colette is such a wonderful actress, she put's such life into her roles, it's amazing. The movie was funny, sad, very emotional and well acted by the whole cast. Five stars isn't enough, I'd give it 10. Thomas Haden Church was brilliant as always and Oliver Platt was very funny. Lucky Them, lucky us for watching it, the surprise at the end was very cool. The best movie I've seen in a long time.
This is a satisfying film despite a plot no one involved with the film really seems to care about. The strength of the film is in the characters. One man struggling with limited tools to know himself. One woman not understanding how much she needs to look at herself. Toni Collette shines. You just want to watch her. Thomas Hayden Church seems to do one character, but it's a difficult one to pull off and he does it.
4.0 out of 5 starsRock Journo, Road movie Rom Com.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2015
Toni Collette plays Ellie Klug - a rock journalist on Stax magazine. She has been around the block a few times and not really moved with the times; but she has a `Belle and Sebastian' poster on her wall so I would read her column any day (and that is not a badly phrased euphemism). So her editor (the marvellous Oliver Platt) gives her an ultimatum. And that is to track down her ex - boyfriend and Rock wunderkind, Mathew Smith, and get an interview. He went missing ten years ago and is one of those guys that has more myths about what happened to him than you can shake a stick at - or even a rolled up rock mag.
So she sets out to track him down and enlists the help of a few people along the way and seems to be a bit of a magnet for men with guitars too.
The plot reminded me of the real life story of Rodriguez who was tracked down by a South African documentary team but this has comedy written all over it. Toni Collette really brings her character to life but she is ably supported with an especially sterling performance from Thomas Haden Church as the completely eccentric Charlie. This is not `laugh a minute' stuff but it is very warm and wants you to go along with it and enjoy the ride. It did not get that much attention when it came out which is a tragedy (as the Bee Gees would have said), but it is well worth giving a chance.