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Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Mary Page Keller, Kai Lennox, Lou Taylor Pucci

Director: Mike Mills

This stream-of-consciousness, non-linear examination of an elderly man's (Plummer) coming out as gay, and his eventual death, and the failure of his son (McGregor) to maintain a relationship with anyone is reminiscent of one of Woody Allen's films - the gloomier ones - of a couple of decades ago and it even has old jazz and pop standards on the soundtrack.

It is, however, boring and very precious and will have you looking at your watches long before the end, as it admires its own quirkiness. Sample dialogue: 'You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people' (sigh) or 'If this is too much, we should just stop' (agreed with that one).

The film should really be about the Plummer character, but, despite the actor's usual reliable and sympathetic performance, he remains a peripheral figure (and the film is the poorer for it), while the focus centres on McGregor (as a graphic artist whose draws 'sad' doodles that nobody wants) and Laurent, who are about as interesting as a pile of dirty washing.

A new colour processing company, OffHollywood, makes an undistinguished debut, but Cosmo, the dog who plays Plummer's Jack Russell terrier, is absolutely wonderful, and steals all his scenes.

David Quinlan

Canada/USA 2010. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by OffHollywood.
105 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 19 Jul 2011