21 May 2011 | darrhling
A surprising mix: gloomy surroundings and "a positive vibe"
Seymour-Hoffman's directorial debut is a well-rounded little film about being positive no matter the circumstances; the possibility of a solution at the end of the tunnel and the value of perseverance.
Jack Goes Boating relates the tale of four people whose stories are wound together. The premise is simple: one couple throwing a blind date for the other two parties. From this seemingly basic starting point, the characters undergo transformations, all of which are sprinkled with life-lessons and positive philosophy, all the more poignant for its stark backdrop of lower-middle class life. In this sense, there is a feel of La Vita è Bella about it, although admittedly Jack Goes Boating is not quite in the same league as the former.
Phillip Seymour-Hoffman pulls off some typically sensational acting, as does Amy Ryan, with a complicated emotional role which she executes very well indeed.
All in all, a high-class film, totally worth watching, but not something that leaves you with the feeling it ought to have won Best Picture.
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