|Review: Everything Must Go|
|Written by Selina Pearson|
|Monday, 10 October 2011 12:16|
Director: Dan Rush
Recovering alcoholic Nick Halsey (Ferrell) has just lost his job and all his worldly possessions are lying on his front lawn. To top it off, he’s got a note from his wife that says she’s leaving him. Luckily, in among his armoury he has a big comfy chair, a rotisserie cooker and a George Foreman grill. And beer. Lots of beer.
Completely off the wagon and living in front of his house, the police tell Nick that the only way he can legally leave all his crap on his lawn is to have a yard sale. He has five days.
During these five days, Nick starts to sober up (read: he runs out of money), teaches a kid (Wallace) to play baseball, befriends new neighbour Samantha (Hall) and tracks down old schoolmate Delilah (Dern). As he gradually pulls himself together, the cathartic purge of his possessions allows him to take control of his life.
This is a subtle bittersweet comedy-drama, which feels very understated, not least because Will Ferrell plays his role completely straight; restraining his improv impulses, you really do feel Nick's frustration, even though his redeeming features don't emerge until late on in the film. The other characters are real and flawed too - particular Rebecca Hall's lonely housewife.
Sadly, things sometimes feel a little too understated, leaving Dan Rush's story coasting along without much of a pulse. Still, Everything Must Go is a testament to the director’s abilities. With a solid cast and simple script, he's produced a very strong debut.
A charming and subtle drama.
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