Sunday, 31 October 2010

Film Review: AWAY WE GO (2009)

Director: Sam Mendes
Running time: 96 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

USA release date: 18th September 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st October 2010.


Sam Mendes has directed some of my favourite films including ‘American Beauty’ and ‘Road to Perdition’, and so I was interested to see his latest offering. I found an interesting, sometimes funny and sometimes very sad, but always a very engaging tale with great visuals and great characters. But more of that later, here’s a short summary first (synopsis haters please ignore the next paragraph).

Burt Farlander and Verona De Tessant are going to have a baby. Verona is six months’ pregnant when Burt’s parents announce they are going to move to Belgium for two years. This leaves the couple in a bit of a quandary, they have no other family in the area and so decide to go on a road-trip to visit various friends and family living in different parts of North America. The trip takes them to Arizona, Madison Wisconsin, Montreal Canada, Florida and finally the place they decide to call home (I’m not giving that away). On their journey they meet all different kinds of families, all of which, for one reason or another, are broken. They look into themselves and find the place they want their child to grow up.

There are some really great visuals in this film, it’s just a shame there weren’t more. I did find that the story did wander slightly in places, but Sam Mendes has a great ability to bring it back on track, which he does really well. Great characters used throughout, all of which I found quite believable. Very decent performances from all of the major cast, particularly John Krasinski as Burt and Maya Rudolph as Verona. Honourable mentions should also go to Catherine O'Hara as Gloria Farlander, Jeff Daniels as Jerry Farlander, Allison Janney as Lily, Jim Gaffigan as Lowell and Maggie Gyllenhaal as LN Fisher-Herrin.

Although it has quite a slow pace, I found it has an engaging plot and some characters I actually care about. Some great visuals also add to a pretty enjoyable film which, although not perfect, is still recommended viewing.

My score: 7.3/10

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