Old people crying, especially men, equals me crying. And oh boy, men who usually have it all together crying equals Niagara Falls. That’s just the way it is. It’s the same with my grandma. She’s 90 years old, but so stubborn. She still wants to do everything by herself and surprisingly is still able to do a lot on her own. But still when I see her struggle with something, an instant stream of pity goes through my veins. So can you imagine what ‘Everybody’s fine’ did to me knowing Robert De Niro is the old man we’re looking at? Jeez’, he’s such a great actor.
Today’s movie is probably the first one that I actually chose in order to write a review. I decided I just wanted to be surprised. So I clicked on a IMDB list of films under 100 minutes, ’cause it was already late, and randomly picked ‘Everybody’s fine’ – or maybe not so randomly since I did see Robert De Niro’s name. – I must admit that even though I did have a lot of bad luck yesterday when among other things burning my hand and spilling my whole cup of hot chocolate – with extra whipped cream – before taking one sip, I didn’t in choosing this pic.
If you’ve read some of my previous reviews, you’ll know that for me the story is the most important. In this film it’s actually all about the way of storytelling. Here you have a simple story, which is fine, but would probably be boring as hell if it wouldn’t have been filmed in this way. I don’t want to spoil too much but it’s actually really clever how the PVC-coating is a guideline through the plot. – It comes back multiple times and is even kind of retrievable in the kids’ phone calls. – But it’s also a symbol of what Frank, the main character, wants to be for his family. At first I thought the ‘visions’ of the kids, if that’s what you can call them, where kind of corny. But in the end when everything comes together, it actually works really well.
When it comes to acting…wow. I was always a fan of De Niro, but in ‘Everybody’s fine’ he knocks it right out of the park. What a performance. Not because he’s playing a poor helpless old man, no, exactly the opposite. He puts down a strong character, who doesn’t feel sorry for himself at all and even takes matter’s in own hands. At the same time however he manages to make Frank seem so fragile it makes you wanna jump up right away and help him. I mean, the way he drags his suitcase along and even worse, how he didn’t notice there’s a handle at first. It just makes my heart explode.
I can conclude in one sentence with saying that it’s a nice, simple, intimate story about a father who wants to renew bonds with his children which doesn’t go as easy as foreseen. I definitely enjoyed it very much, proven by the tears at the end. I can only imagine this movie even works way better for people who actually have kids.
Hope you’ll enjoy it!