Saturday, 22 January 2011

Film Review: EVERYBODY’S FINE (2009)

Co-Writer/Director: Kirk Jones
Running time: 96 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

USA release date: 4th July 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 22nd January 2011.


This is based on the 1990 Giuseppe Tornatore film “Stanno Tutti Bene” which I’ll admit I haven’t seen. It’s has a gentle pace that slowly unfolds the story of a man trying to make a connection with his children after his wife has sadly died. Here’s a very brief summary before I tell you my thoughts (summary haters please look after the garden while I’m away writing the next paragraph – thank you).

Frank Goode is waiting for his children to come and visit. It is the first time the family has all been together since his wife passed away eight months ago. Giving one excuse or another, the children all cancel, but Frank is determined to see them. He doesn’t like flying, and has a lung condition that prevents it anyhow, and so he gets on a train and a bus and goes to see all four of them. They are all in different parts of the United States and so it is quite a trip for a man of his age. The four children are; David, an artist in New York, Amy, an advertising executive, Robert, a musician on tour with an orchestra and Rosie, an actress in Las Vegas. I won’t go into details here, but none of them are telling Frank the entire truth and he soon realises that it’s going to be tougher than he thought to connect with them all.

Although it has quite a slow pace, I don’t mind because it gives the viewer a chance to become invested in the characters, particularly Frank. I love the way that he always sees them as little children rather than the grown-ups that are before him. Great performances all round, particularly from Robert De Niro as Frank; he reminded me what a fine actor he really is. Drew Barrymore did a fine job as Rosie, as did Kate Beckinsale as Amy and Sam Rockwell as Robert. You may think I’ve forgotten the other son, David, well, that’s a mystery I’ll leave for you.

The gentle pace may not be for everyone, I think you have to be in the mood to watch this one, but if you are, it’s worth it. There is a really good pay-off at the end which I found both satisfying and heart-warming. I like the cinematography and it has a very appropriate soundtrack, including a song by Paul McCartney that I haven’t heard before. It’s not perfect and it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I quite enjoyed it… Recommended.

My score: 7.1/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
RT Page:
Official Site:

1 comment:

Nard4Reynard said...

This is a great family movie. Although a lil bit boring, it still have a deep meaning. We can learn from this family story.