The Way, Way Back

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DaveF, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    A coming of age, summer teen movie for adults. Steve Carrel's Trent is a an amazing ass. Sam Rockwell's affable Owen is pitch perfect, the loser mentor I wish I had. Liam James's Duncan is a dorky, moody, uncommunicative teenager, and carries the movie. Moments when I experienced again that intense sense of hypocrisy that a teen has seeing the adults not follow the rules they burden him with. Funny, warm. A little heartbreaking. Positive message. In a way, old fashioned (so far as REO Speedwagon is old fashioned)Recommended.
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Good. This one is on my list to watch.
     
  3. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I keep waiting for them to expand the distribution; I really don't want to go into the city just to catch it. (I hate traffic.)
     
  4. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I ended up watching this on Friday. Not a home run but a strong double with the runner getting to third on a throwing error. :)

    We've seen this type of film countless times before and I really didn't think it added anything new but it was just so laid back and rather peaceful that you couldn't help getting caught up in it. I thought the direction was very good, the performances great and we also get a terrific soundtrack. It's too early in the year to know how many other great performances are going to come but as of right now Sam Rockwell deserves a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I drove 45 miles to watch this film and thought it was very good which made my drive home a lot quicker as I ran the film through my mind again. I loved the performances and thought the writing and direction were dead on.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    This was like "Adventureland" but without the snarkiness. As a "coming of age" film centering on Duncan (a 14-year old teenage boy), it's a little rocky in the beginning, mainly because Duncan is so closed-up emotionally. Duncan's mom Pam (Toni Collette) is being courted by Trent (Steve Carell), and for the summer they are spending it at Trent's beach house, along with Duncan's mother, and Trent's teenage daughter, who finds Duncan's presence to be a drag.

    Thankfully the film comes to life, as Allison Janney's "Betty" greets the gang as their next door neighbor with a teenage daughter Susanna (Anna Sophia Robb), who Duncan takes an immediate liking to, but can't sputter any intelligible syllables in front of her at first.

    Duncan finds an unlikely father figure in Owen (Sam Rockwell), who somehow manages to run the "Water Wizz" water park nearby the beach house (requires a bike ride to get there for Duncan). Duncan blossoms in unexpected ways over the summer, but also has to confront a familiar situation that his mom hasn't the courage the deal with, so Duncan feels trapped by his circumstances. Truths come out, and relationships are strained.

    From the same writing team of Jim Rash and Nate Faxon, who won their screenwriting oscar for "The Descendants", this film is paced well, and filled with enough characters and dialogue to invest into Duncan's predicament and this summer in which he turns a corner, somewhat coming out of his shell.

    I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's actually Nate Faxon and Jim Rash, who co-wrote and co-directed this film. They also play supporting characters in the film as part of the "Water Wizz" water park staff.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    This finally opened around me and I thought it was pretty good. Not surprisingly, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alison Janney and Sam Rockwell are all very good but it's pretty impressive that Liam James (who I've seen on The Killing so I knew he could keep up with excellent actors) is able to be the lead when he's got some serious talent in the supporting roles.

    After all the summer movies, it's nice to see some smaller movies (this, Fruitvale Station, The To Do List) opening up and get a respite from all the special effects and destruction.
     
  9. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Watched it today and thought it was very good. I thought all of the actors were really well chosen, and Robb acquitted herself surprisingly well. Collette and Janney were fantastic, as I expected them to be, but it was the lesser roles that I think rounded out this film. This is one of those small summer gems that definitely deserves a bigger audience in the action fare, I picture a lot of people finding this on cable at a later date and being pleasantly surprised.

    B+
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Not as good as The Descendants, but I did enjoy it. It captured the feeling of a vacation town very well and it's a real actor's showcase.Sam Rockwell might get an Oscar nomination for his role here, and I wouldn't disagree with it. As Dave said in the first post, his performance is "pitch perfect, the loser mentor I wish I had." Allison Janney steals every scene she's in, and it's easy to overlook the subtlety of her performance. They're characters are the two most broken adults, and they're the two wholly decent adults in the picture. Some of the things Janney's character says sound horrible, but she doesn't say them horribly; you never really doubt for a moment that her kids know she loves them.Toni Collette's got the trickiest role in the picture, as the proud woman who's in the process of giving up. She does a great job of conveying a women who sees, but tries so desperately to convince herself that she hasn't seen.Zoe Levin's got a serious case of bitch face, and a lesser movie would have ridden that out as the sole quality of the wicked stepsister. But there's some complexity in the mix here, too; she responds to the worthwhile things that Duncan and his mom bring into the equation, and you get the impression that there's a better person to be had if her father wasn't Trent.The crew at the water park are uniformly great. It's the most formulaic part of the picture, but they all serve their roles well; you feel the family dynamics at play among the employees.There have been quite a few great child actresses in recent years, but not a lot of great child actors. Among the select few, Liam James might be the best. It's an adult performance he gives here. You feel the inside of Duncan change over the course of the movie, and that's the product of pretty rare talent and skill.Final thought: Man, Steve Carell's a real turdbasket in this one.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I would give Carrell the nom as easily as I would Rockwell. Carrell was effortlessly a complete bastard. Janney, harassing her poor son over his lazy eye. It's funny because its true. I've not seen bad parenting that overtly, but I've experienced and seen the normal equivalents. And Rcokwell's complimenting, praising of that awesome eye at the summer's-end party was wonderful. He was a such a slacker, and a bit skeezy, but so gracious and gentle hearted. It took me back to great days gone by of summer camp counselors I knew. This was a great movie to see with no expectations. The preview was good, so we went. I love a pleasant surprise.
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think what was good about Janney is that although she was a "bad parent" she was also obviously a parent who did really care for her kids, even if it wasn't always the right way, she seemed to care about her kids. That's what I found about the contrast with Carrell's character so insidious.. Carrell wanted to be a jerk of a dad who seemed as though he was just being tough because he cared.. but it became obvious part way through he was being a jerk because he didn't care.. he just wanted to seem as though he did.

    The difference between the two is both subtle and I thought effective. I really liked this film and I've thought about it a lot since I left the theater and have been surprised at how many moments in it I thought really worked.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Yes. She was a good parent in that she cared deeply and wanted her son to get better and fit in. But she did it rather badly at times with nagging and pointless harping. My own marvelous mother has done such to me as a teen :)
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I realize this shows what a super dork I am but why was the kid with the lazy eye playing with 1980's Star Wars toys? They have a beach house, they could afford a modern version of Princess Leia (Hoth Outfit) or Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues). :)
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    He made a crack earlier he loved collecting them with his dad, and tried to keep most mint in the box. So, I assume these were a few he got that weren't, whereas any new ones were still in the box.
     

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