Urban Cinefile
"The film sentence is very different from the prose sentence "  -Anthony Minghella
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

LUCKY THEM

SYNOPSIS: Music journalist Ellie Klug (Toni Collette) is given one last chance by her magazine editor Giles (Oliver Platt) to prove her worth to Stax magazine: to find answers to what happened to rock god Matthew Smith. The fact that Matthew was her first love and that there are unresolved issues compound the dilemma. Ellie teams up with wealthy, novice documentary filmmaker Charlie (Thomas Haden Church) who is intrigued by Ellie's quest.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's the dynamic between Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church that makes this uplifting road movie zing like a breath of fresh air. The set up may be flimsy but there is nothing flimsy about the comfortable spaces and open connection between Collette's music critic Ellie and Church's rich guy Charlie. Theirs is the journey that director Megan Griffith canvasses - the pit stops are the relationships that develop along the way. The exposition flows like quicksilver; we are so engrossed in the moment that we are never allowed to wonder where the story is heading. Endearing, warmly funny and entertaining, the film meanders all over the place before finally finding its way.

She used to be his go-to gal, Stax magazine editor Giles (Oliver Platt) tells Ellie, as her job is on the line when he gives her an ultimatum to reclaim her place in the magazine and deliver a substantial story about her former lover and rock star Matthew Smith who disappeared ten years ago. Did he really kill himself? Or is there substance to the reader comments that suggest he is alive and singing in a muffled online video? Collette's Ellie is clearly a woman who is unsure of and unable to manage her relationships. There's Lucas, an up and coming singer songwriter (Ryan Eggold), with whom she shares a kiss while doing an interview. The way he follows her around, popping up with his guitar and a song is most endearing.

Then Charlie, a former beau ('I am much cooler now') appears on the scene, wanting to make an amateur video of Ellie's journey as she searches for the missing rock star. Theirs is a curious relationship, forged by her need for financial assistance and his embracing a project that 'speaks' to him. Charlie's developing relationship with Charlotte (Ahna O'Reilly), a new age animal lover is like an amusing punctuation mark. While nothing much may happen as Ellie and Charlie drive along in the purpose-built trailer ('a submarine on wheels') whilst following clues, we learn a lot about them. They almost play with each other as the dialogue flits back and forth as Ellie revisits her relationship with Matthew.

Church offers a distinctive formality about Charlie, a man propelled by his instincts and who declares there is 'no logic to love: a painful brutal process of trial and error and you go through it again and again'. Collette is warm and natural and her Ellie makes a right hand turn when she reaches her life's crossroads. There is a wonderful surprise in store - in the form of brilliant casting of a cameo for the role of the missing rock star. The undulating manner in which the relationships rise and fall is beautifully managed but it is Collette and Church who deliver gold.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

LUCKY THEM (M)
(US, 2014)

CAST: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Nina Arianda, Oliver Platt, Ryan Eggold, Ahna O'Reilly

PRODUCER: Adam Gibbs, Amy Hobby, Emily Wachtel

DIRECTOR: Megan Griffiths

SCRIPT: Huck Botko, Emily Wachtel

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Kutchins

EDITOR: Meg Reticker

MUSIC: Craig Wedren

PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Lavin

RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Regency Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 5, 2015







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017