Lucky Them

Recommended

2014 | 96 minutes | Rated R

Recommended

Among many other virtues, Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths is a brilliant chameleon. Her 2011 film The Off Hours is a lifelike dreamscape so singularly wrought she could've devoted the rest of her career, Altman-like, to exploring this style's possibilities and nuances. But then came 2012's Eden, a razor-sharp account of human trafficking, and a masterpiece of perspective and suspense. Now here's Lucky Them, a relatively straightforward romantic dramedy that feels like Griffiths's Hollywood calling card, while still laced through with Griffiths's spirit. The plot: A thirtysomething music journalist (Toni Collette) is tasked with tracking down a long-lost rock star who vanished in a cloud of mystery, and who happens to be her ex. Joining her on the journey is a moneyed playboy currently identifying as a documentary filmmaker (Thomas Haden Church), who tags along as our heroine digs through her past and reckons with the present. Griffiths's touch shines through in carefully ramshackle music-venue sequences (this is a Seattle movie set in a Seattle you'll very much recognize) and in the performance of Collette, who's given full rein to inhabit every pointy corner of her character. Complicating my feelings about this good movie: Thomas Haden Church, who gives a performance some have deemed worthy of award consideration but struck me as ill-fitting as The Simpsons' Poochie the Dog, making Lucky Them's ending feel like a cruel judgment on a character who'd previously been treated with great empathy. Let's talk about this on Slog, the Stranger blog, after you've seen the movie, which you should. (DAVID SCHMADER)
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Film Credits
Director
Megan Griffiths
Cast
Toni Collette, Thomas Church, Nina Arianda, Ryan Eggold, Ahna O'Reilly, Oliver Platt, Amy Seimetz, Lynn Shelton