In John Krasinski's second directorial effort we have The Hollars, an authentic and emotional journey through something every human being can relate to: dealing with life, loss, and family drama with surprises and obstacles jumping in the way of our efforts at every turn.
With a star-studded and dynamic cast that includes Margo Martindale, Anna Kendrick, Josh Groban, Charlie Day and Sharlto Copley, Krasinski had a lot of talent to work with when it came to executing James Strouse's expertly written script.
Krasinski was excellent
John Krasinski's lead actor was... well, John Krasinski in the role of John Hollar. And his sense of humor was on full display. His character follows a similar path to many who feel the creative spark. He moves to New York to chase his dream of becoming a graphic novelist, only to realize he may not be cut out for it.
Martindale steals the show
Margo Martindale plays John's mother and the clear matriarch of the Hollar clan. She is the sturdy family rock, chugging along through trial and tribulation while the world around her searches for comfort and answers. Without giving too much away, Martindale is the secret sauce in the film; one of those "wow" performances that deserves serious recognition.
This is a must-see film and a beautiful fit for Sundance. The juxtapositional elements of humor and sadness will give you "The Feels" in a major way.
Calling 'The Hollars' "charming" doesn't do it justice though. What we have here is a terrific story, a delightful cast that rarely misses a beat, and - admittedly - a heavy emotional punch that left few dry eyes in the room. Everyone will find something to relate to, because 'The Hollars' understands what makes us human and vulnerable - and how family can help you through those vulnerable times.
An experience I'm glad I had, and one of my favorite Sundance titles this year, stay tuned for a distribution plan for 'The Hollars.' If you're not in Park City, you'll want to see this one when it hits theaters elsewhere.