Everybody’s Fine (2009)

Everybody’s Fine is a remake of Italian movie Stanno tutti bene. It was directed by Kirk Jones and stars Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. (And in small roles: Melissa Leo and James Frain.)

Frank (Robert De Niro) lives on his own in a big house after his wife died and all the kids moved out. He’s just preparing for all the kids to visit at the same time – something he’s really been looking forward to. But when all of them cancel on short notice, Frank doesn’t want to wait anymore. He decides to visit them himself, so he gets on a train and sets off.

I liked this film. Though it probably wasn’t the best movie ever and the story was a little “been there, done that”, the cast made up for a lot of things. Plus, it was sensibly written and nicely shot.

It’s been a while that I’ve enjoyed Robert De Niro in a movie as much as I enjoyed him here. He was really excellent and you just got reminded why he’s such a big name. He gives a subtly, layered and very touching performance that is just beautiful to watch.

Of course, adding Sam Rockwell to any movie can only make it better and that’s also the case here. But Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale delivered good performances as well.

The script may not be the most original thing ever, but the dialogues are good and it’s generally sensibly and sensitively written. You can’t help being touched despite the clichés. And it had a nice sense of humor. [I loved the whole telephone wire metaphor.]

The soundtrack was nice and the movie looked really good. One has to wonder why Kirk Jones doesn’t (get to?) make more movies, because so far his record has been stellar (yes, all three movies! ^^).

Summarising: If you want to sob a little in the holiday season, this film is perfect for you.

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