Language: English, French
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Mary Page Keller
After watching this exquisitely-designed indie feature from the Mike Mills, the director of THUMBSUCKER (2005) (a moderate 6/10 in my rating system), Patchy is still the first word jumping out of my head,
The premise is up-and-coming, a sanguinely gallant gay father coming out of his closet after a 40-year-old marriage (after his wife’s timely death) while diagnosed with terminal cancer, which theoretically would be fairly arresting than his middle-aged son’s hoary love story, right? Nonetheless the film’s protagonist is the son, whose back story is no more spectacular than his demised father (the narrative jumps between before and after the father’s death, with some brief prepubescence scenes of the son with his sullen mother), an inefficacious designer stuck in his father’s precious belatedly carefree gay life and subsequently his decease, at the same time he embarks on a love relationship with an exotically nymph-like French girl (I love Laurent, but she is much better not talking here, which the aura is miraculously it’s her French English I cannot bear).
The indie strains are dominantly pervasive in almost every shot and frame, and which is a bit over-exaggerated and more severe is that it hampers the narrative arc. The much-hyped performance from octogenarian Christopher Plummer is a major treat in the film, another potential Oscar nomination is easily be procured. While being as good as usual, Ewan McGregor’s Oliver is unaffectedly besotted with Laurent’s character, but I dare not say vice versa.
Still by and large the film itself is a winsomely edifying one with some vibrant vignettes, most of which concerns with the endearing puppy Arthur, and at least it registers a buoyant attitude towards plight and bereavement, it’s never too late to pursue love, maybe we all think it’s stodgy, but this film demonstrates us how to be initiative and operative.