Being Flynn (2012)
Directed by Paul Weitz
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore, Olivia Thirlby
Paul Weitz is best known for his work on About a Boy which he wrote and directed. Once again he took on both jobs and together with Nick Flynn Being Flynn was born. Nick Flynn wrote the book behind the movie as a biographical account of his family experiences. Paul Dano (Looper) took on the role of the young Nick Flynn. The movie also stars Robert DeNiro (Jackie Brown), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), and Olivia Thirlby (Juno).
Nick (Dano) is alone and wandering, looking for something to bring some meaning into his life. When he settles in with some new friends he takes a job working at a homeless shelter. Once there he runs into his estranged father (DeNiro). As he struggles to reconcile his feelings and his past, Nick also struggles with who he is. As his father spirals out of control Nick begins to wonder if he’s more like his father than he thought.
This is a movie that I thought would see a bigger release, especially with such a good cast. Although it didn’t see the national release I hoped for, I still got to see it. Staying with the theme of biographical films this is a wonderful addition.
Paul Dano really stole the show with this movie. After great performances in movies like There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine this was a nice step for his career. His acting works wonderfully opposite DeNiro and Moore. He really has a wonderful depth that I think will bring him more important roles as his career continues. Robert DeNiro is equally great in a very dark and dirty performance. It’s the same magic he’s brought to almost every role I’ve ever seen him in. In addition to DeNiro, Julianna Moore and Olivia Thirlby do a nice job rounding out the cast.
This isn’t a movie for everyone. It’s got dark moments that really underscore a powerful story about following the footsteps of others. It’s also got a lot of gritty moments that go along with life in a homeless environment. It’s also a powerful story of redemption and forgiveness, two of my favorite themes in movies. Overall this is just a good movie. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.