Beautiful coming-of-age film that shows perfectly the phase in which a youngster must face several truths about life: the coming of adulthood, sexual awakenings, realizing that parents are flawed beings...
Its slow pace intends to portray the process of growth (physical and emotional), and Sympkins´ acting is very good.
Tale of a father taking his kids to a new home in California while keeping secrets about the whereabouts of their mother treads no new ground succumbing to the road movie clichés for the most part. Luckily the quartet of lead performances are good with John Hawkes scoring well and the two young Simpkins kids excelling. Feels so much longer than its 91m runtime however owing to its derivative scripting and direction.
A simple and touching road-movie, low profile, first presented at Sundance as a short. This 91 minutes version got selected in Berlin. Around the father, three kids, and both a trip to Arcadia (california, but the opposite of the american dream) and to adulthood. Very much the kind of film Sofia Coppola could have made, maybe here less dreamy and at times more frontal.
Complex chars/situation, well observed. Modest but rising suspense. Strong lead perf, implying supportive direction. Yet doesn't quite fire on all cylinders. For example, one test of road movies is handling montages of passing time/space/mood. They often feel generic, as here. These musical interludes could have expressed far more if treated w/same care as dramatic scenes. Bit by bit they eroded impact of the whole.