Release Date
January 21, 2012
Director
So Yong Kim
Screenplay
So Yong Kim
Distributed By
Tribeca Film
Drama
Rated NR
94 minutes

For Ellen

Paul Dano leads this emotionally taut drama as Joby Taylor, an aspiring musician who returns home to find his ex-wife is looking to gain sole custody of his young daughter. “For Ellen” lives and breathes with Dano’s high caliber performance, wonderfully portraying a flawed character that the viewer still finds sympathy for. His daughter, played by Shaylena Mandigo, is a future star, with the poise and cold hard stares of an adult actress at the staggering age of six years old. Although most of the film is self-pity and denial on Joby’s part, the film picks up when he reveals a secret about his ex-wife that leads to visitation rights for a day between Joby and Ellen. Had the film had more interaction between the two, this could have been a much stronger film, but what we’re left with are a few solid scenes and long bit of emotional filler. Why Jon Heder’s storyline was in the film, I am uncertain, as it adds very little to the story, if anything. Seeing Paul Dano act, however, is becoming a gift and any excuse to see him break out on the screen is a welcome distraction.

 

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