Trailer Talk: For Ellen

For Ellen - Paul Dano

Tribeca Film (via iTunes Trailers) has released an exclusive trailer for So Yong Kim’s Sundance favourite For Ellen, starring Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo and Jena Malone.

After travelling overnight on a long-distance drive, Joby (Paul Dano) arrives in a cold climate for a meeting with his lawyer (Jon Heder) and his soon-to-be ex-wife. Spun about by this new turn of events, Joby’s fatherly absenteeism is about to be given a last chance to right itself as he tries to be in his daughter Ellen’s (Shaylena Mandigo) life.

At The Reel Bits, we don’t just post trailers now, we review them too. Check out our thoughts after viewing the trailer below.

Trailer Talk:

One of the films we’ve had the pleasure of seeing prior to the release of the trailer, For Ellen is an emotional and well-acted piece, but occasionally undermined by sentimentality and an all-too-familiar ending.

For Ellen begins as a fascinating study of a handful of people who have been living separate lives, suddenly brought together and forced to feel something about it. Dano’s Joby is the definitive drifter, replete with tattoos, scrappy facial hair and unwashed hair. In the hands of a less accomplished actor, Joby could be the subject of derision and great humour, a relic who has never quite grown out of the rebellion of his youth. Yet Dano grounds him with heartfelt enthusiasm, carrying us into his head space.

The bottom line is that this trailer is an accurate representation of the strengths of the film, crafting a wonderful character study, and demonstrating So Yong Kim’s gift of creating something more than simple stereotypes.

You can also check out our full review of the film from Sundance London 2012.

Bits Rating: ★★★½

For Ellen poster