TIFF 2014: This Is Where I Leave You

Posted by Pam September 17, 2014 0 Comment 974 views

A terrific ensemble cast stars in this family comedy drama about four siblings (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll) who spend a week together in their childhood home, sitting Shiva with their mother (Jane Fonda) to fulfill their father’s dying wish. Old flames, old friends and old resentments abound as the Altman family settles in for some forced family togetherness. There are a few small twists and surprises, but essentially, it’s the performances that make it.

It could have deteriorated into the realm of predictable and schmaltzy, as family comedy dramas often do. But while it has several moments of extreme silliness, rather than take away from the family dynamic, they add to the glorious family chaos. Bateman’s and Fey’s performances anchor the film (they also seem to anchor the family), are frequently hilarious, but always manage to seem like real people. Stoll does a great job as the put-upon eldest brother, steeped in responsibility. Driver gives a standout performance as the overly indulged but very charming youngest sibling. And Fonda is surprisingly fun.

Sweet at its family core, the film’s interesting peripheral characters are well fleshed out and surprisingly appealing. Rose Byrne is quirkier than usual as Bateman’s love interest. The young rabbi who guides and consoles the family (played by Ben Schwartz) also happens to be an old family friend who continues to be teased unmercifully by the Alman clan. And Timothy Olyphant’s performance as the neighbour who suffered a brain injury as a young man completely tugged at my heart. The entire film comes across as heartwarming and hilarious.

Watch the This Is Where I Leave You Trailer

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Film Information
Director(s): Shawn Levy
Country: USA
Orig. Work Title: This Is Where I Leave You
Year: 2013
Language: English
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Runtime: 103 minutes
Rating: 14A

Cast & Credits
Executive Producer: Mary McLaglen, Jonathan Tropper
Producer: Paula Weinstein, Shawn Levy, Jeffrey Levine
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Principal Cast: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Abigail Spencer, Ben Schwartz, Connie Britton, Dax Shepard
Screenplay: Jonathan Tropper
Source Author: Jonathan Tropper
Cinematographer: Terry Stacey
Editor: Dean Zimmerman
Sound: Danny Michael, Skip Lievsay, Paul Urmson
Music: Michael Giacchino
Production Designer: Ford Wheeler

Contact Information
Canadian Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Canada
US Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
US Sales Agent: Warner Bros. Pictures
International Sales Agent: Warner Bros. Pictures

About Pam

You'd be hard-pressed to find a film era or genre that Pam hasn't met. A hard-core film fan from way back, she has spent (or wasted, depending on your point of view) hours and hours watching movies. And with a PhD in Film and Media, she also has more than a few opinions about them.

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