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Stars: Robin Williams, Kathy Baker, Roberto Aguire, Giles Matthey, Eleonore Hendricks, Bob Odenkirk, Henry Haggard

Director: Dito Montiel

While, eventually, there is a happy ending – of sorts – to Robin Williams’s final film, the general tone of Douglas Soesbe’s screenplay is less than cheerful, casting Williams as a middle-aged man whose dull androgynous marriage to emotionally undemanding Kathy Baker is neatly encapsulated by showing them sleeping in separate bedrooms.

His job working at a bank in Nashville is equally undemanding and he appears less than enthusiastic when told he is up for possible promotion to manager of another branch.

Everything changes, however, after he picks up troubled young gay street hustler Roberto Aguire and finally begins to confront his innate sexuality, vividly and movingly underlined by his confession, in the hospital where his comatose father is a patient, that he has been a homosexual since his youth…

Director Dito Monteil sensibly avoids melodrama. The tone of the film is low-key, allowing Williams – best remembered as a comic in such films as Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire – to prove once again, as he did with One Hour Photo and Good Will Hunting, that he could also convince as a serious actor.

Overall it is somewhat depressing to watch Williams’s last screen appearance. At least he went out on a high note.

Supporting performances are effective, notably Baker and Aguire, the latter, needing money to pay for his drug-taking and keep his aggressive pimp happy, being unable to cope with Williams’s manifest need for someone to talk to rather than simply to have sex.

(And, to appease cineastes everywhere, the story features an appropriately flattering discussion of Godard’s Masculin Feminin).

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope . Colour.
88 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 09 Apr 2016