While not perfect, Tumbledown captures the unique story of a mourning widow and a relentless writer at the juncture of loss and love. It also exposes a previously unseen dramatic side of Jason Sudeikis.
Hannah, played by Rebecca Hall, struggles to re-adjust to normal life after the death of her husband, a renown folk singer, when an unrelenting big city writer Andrew, played by Jason Sudeikis, forces her to accept her loss and re-open her eyes to the world. Although this movie falls victim to the typical Hollywood romantic comedy cliches, Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudekis’ performances transcend the old tropes and captivate.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, Etc.) – 3.5
Overall the film was good. Within that however, there were a few moments of greatness. Director and Story Writer Sean Mewshaw makes a formidable feature debut with Tumbledown. Mewshaw exhibits an attention to nuance and character that is oft forgot in films these days. This film is a refreshing dialogue driven comedy/drama designed to appeal to the romantic heart. And it does appeal.
Rebecca Hall’s Hannah was particularly endearing and really the show stealer. In the film her character is that of the lover turned widow of a famed folk musician who wrote songs primary about her and her beauty. Perhaps one of the reason the film connects so well is that Hall manages to bring to screen a character who has the right balance of free-spirited beauty and vulnerability to befit the muse of a great artist.
Standing toe to toe with Hall’s performance was the surprising dramatic range of Jason Sudeikis. While his SNL cultivated comedic shtick shines through from time to time, the comedy releases the tension of the more dramatic moments. I think while this wasn’t a home run of a dramatic performance for Sudeikis, I do think it marks a potential for where he may go with his future roles. Looking at his crowded 2016/2017 slate, audiences won’t have to wait too long to find out.
Now for the woes. Despite Sudeikis and Hall’s trope masking performances, the cliches are still present. The film as a story between two stubborn people with a common passion who find each other would be enough for a great film. Cue the Hollywood (read ‘cheap’) script make-over and bring in a significant others.
When Andrew meets Hannah, she’s finding her solace in strictly physical encounters with local burly man Joe Manganiello who coaxes Hannah with wild animals and bad puns. Andrew actually has a girlfriend played by Dianna Agron (“Glee”), but she is a wasted character inserted for cheap and predictable drama. With these cliches are shoved aside, the film could have blossomed into a more unique and personal story.
Entertainment Value – 3
The most entertaining thing about Tumbledown is Sudeikis and Hall’s commitment to character and the sensational chemistry they create. There is no major action or shocking moments. As a matter of fact, nothing really happens. Still I found myself consistently entertained and interested in the chemistry developing between Sudeikis and Hall.
Given the isolated small town feel of the setting, the film was visually quirky. It was almost like the traits of her late husband and the entire folk movement was translated into the cinematic landscape.
Re-Watchability – 3
While <em>Tumbledown</em> only scratches the surface of it’s full potential, it does hold attention and present a uniquely palatable story. I would say this would make for a good date night movie.
Watch the official trailer for “Tumbledown” below.
STARZ Digital Presents a Bron Studios and Hahnscape Entertainment Production.
Directed by Sean Mewshaw
Written by Desi Van Til
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis, Joe Manganiello, Dianna Agron, Blythe Danner and Griffin Dunne
Runtime: 103 Minutes
MPAA Rating: R
- Entertainment Value
While not perfect, Tumbledown captures the unique story of a mourning widow and a relentless writer at the juncture of loss and love. It also exposes a previously unseen dramatic side of Jason Sudeikis. While Tumbledown only scratches the surface of it's full potential, it does hold attention and present a uniquely palatable story with an appealing performance by Rebecca Hall. I would say this would make for a good date night movie.