Humor and caring richly imbue this inspiring ultimate modern family movie 10/10
Review by Brian R. Wright
No fewer than four actors in this exceptional film deserve Oscar nominations, including, of course, Clive Owen (Walt), then the others: Jaeden Lieberher (playing Walt’s son Anthony), Patton Oswalt (Drake: the meth addict with a heart of gold who embarrassingly tries to help the father-son team), and Robert Forster (Otto: Walt’s friend and confidant thru Walt’s struggles with alcoholism). Then you can toss in Maria Bello (Walt’s ex, Bonnie who wants Anthony to find moral grounding in her Catholic faith—hence the title, referring to Anthony’s impending confirmation—and even Matthew Modine (Kyle: Bonnie’s kindhearted yet fluttery new husband) for Academy recognition as well.
As we’re doing nominations, let’s also not forget writer/director Bob Nelson, either. Nelson takes the father-son personal, mutual journey to new heights, and reminds us that simple humanity can be sublime, even divine. The movie is pure magic, everyone involved simply hits the artistic target dead, solid, perfect. Every viewing reveals a subtle new truth.
Of what? This is the central metaphor that leaps right off the screen. We know from the first scenes when Walt comes to pick up Anthony (via visitation arrangements of the divorce), that Bonnie is making a special move to have Anthony attend church and ‘get with the program’ so to speak, by the rite of confirmation (which is designed to initiate a child into spiritual adulthood in many Christian denominations). Continue reading