Film Review – Rudderless (2014)

Rudderless - post

Title – Rudderless (2014)

Director – William H. Macy (feature debut)

Cast – Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Laurence Fishburne, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Selena Gomez

Plot – After the death of his son in a college shooting, Sam (Crudup) a onetime music mogul finds himself living a solitary life on his boat, away from his friends, family and the world. When Sam discovers some of his sons old musical writings however, his life starts to slowly find meaning once more.

“What ever happened to free choice?”

Review by Eddie on 13/01/2016

While at times it threatens to become a little too lathered in cheese and schmaltz, William H. Macy’s debut directional effort Rudderless gets by on a fairly unique idea and enough heart and humour to carry this tale of loss, grief, redemption and music through to a satisfactory and untraditional conclusion.

Imbuing his film with the persona and comedic timing that has made him one of the industry’s most well respected and most recognisable character actors, Macy shows himself to be quite the story telling craftsman here especially concerning Rudderless’s narrative arc that at a mid-way point takes an unexpected and loaded turn that makes a somewhat fuzzy first half become a lot more tolerable in hindsight.

Front and centre in this study of a man grieving the loss of his son in a college shooting is Billy Crudup and actor well known for sadly never reaching the potential he so clearly has within and it’s safe to his turn as one time high roller now painter for hire Sam is one of his best, not only of recent times but in his career. Alongside both Watchmen and Big Fish, Rudderless will be an extra enjoyable experience for Crudup fans and he both convinces in his musical moments, his emotionally loaded moments and his comedic timing and it’s great to see the actor take a role on and nail it.

It’s arguable the Crudup is the main reason to sink your teeth into Rudderless and it’s a wise move that Macy chose to plant him in almost all of the films scenes as when he takes a back seat Rudderless’s flaws are more glaring right down from some questionable leaps of story progressions through to unbelievable side players like Laurence Fishburne’s kindly music story owner Del.

Rudderless will be enjoyed more with the least amount of pre-knowledge possible and while it never hits a perfect note between drama and comedy, this is a Hallmark like movie that transcends its weaknesses and becomes a likeable if forgettable music filled drama.

3 ruined regatta’s out of 5

2 responses to “Film Review – Rudderless (2014)

  1. I actually really enjoyed this film. I was on board emotionally. I didn’t see that shift coming. You’re right, it changed the focus and added new weight. I thought Crudup was great as well. Good review. Thanks for spotlighting indie cinema.

    • Oh yeh man not often do I find myself really blindsided by story arcs but this one caught me way off guard! I’d love to see Crudup take on more decent roles like this one.

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