Directorial debut by William H. Macy (Shameless), the film stars Billy Crudup (Watchmen). Anton Yeltsin (Star Trek) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers). Rudderless tells the story of a grieving father (Crudup) who comes across his deceased sons demo tapes and lyrics. Shocked by his sons talent, Sam (the father) decides to create a band in hope of finding a way of releasing his emotions. Will a single chord bring Sam back into happiness?
I'm going to start off by saying and clarifying that I liked this film. The main power of Rudderless comes from its music. All of the vocal talent is impressive and all of the lyrics are emotionally fantastic. My favourite songs were 'Hold On', 'Real Friends' and 'Home' - I found each of them catchy and meaningful. It is a shame that not many people saw Rudderless (limited release) as I believe that the soundtrack would have really taken the world by storm.
The performances are also great. Billy Crudup really does impress as a grieving father - his performance was really convincing and believable. Some of his scenes nearly brought tears to my eyes as he became so emotional . Another impressive performance came from Selena Gomez- even though she was in about 3 scenes, the moments she had were really great. It was nice to see quite an emotional side to her. You could also feel and see her anger in the final scene that she appears in. Anton Yeltsin also steals some of the lime light with a great performance.
The screenwriting for this film was fantastic. It was emotional when it needed to be but it was also very witty and funny at some points. It was nice to see such a dark film be lifted with humorous moments. The plot was also realistic and not too 'Hollywood'. However, I did find the overall storyline quite dull and slow paced. I felt that the story didn't really go anywhere and it was just like watching a reality TV programme based on a upcoming band. Even though the film was only 100 minutes long, it felt like it was over 120 minutes.
The film does seem to lack a clear sense of its aims and principles (suits the name of the film - 'Rudderless') but that doesn't take much away from how beautiful the music and performances are.
Rudderless is heartfelt, witty and emotional. The music is beautiful but the plot could be a little cleaner and fast paced. Yeltsin and Gomez shine and show promise for being great leading actors and actresses in the future. Overall, Rudderless is a solid directorial debut from Macy and is one that will have you singing along and really makes you feel about the values of family and friends. Good intentions, beautiful music, powerful performances, meaningful but with a slightly dull and messy plot, Rudderless is one to see.