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  • Colin Fraser


A socially awkward man teams up with his ex-wife to re-bond with their estranged, socially awkward daughter.

Starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern


Landing as some kind of sub-Woody Allen, sub-LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, sub-par indie comedy-drama, WILSON is so much less than the sum of its parts. Starring the often interesting Woody Harrelson and always excellent Laura Dern, this coming-of-age yarn (Wilson is touching fifty and just learning to become an adult) should be quietly excellent instead of noisily frustrating (see above re sub-Allen). Based on a graphic novel, it relates the trials of a cheerfully awkward and socially provocative man who tells it like it is, although people don’t want to hear it. Starved of company, he hooks up with his ex-wife only to learn he has an estranged teenage daughter. Together they hunt down the socially awkward and dismally unchallenging teenager, a choice that has dire consequences for everyone. It’s said that Wilson the graphic novel is a much more complex creation than Craig Johnson’s film, and it would have to be given the freewheeling, simplistic treatment of darker themes that hang just beyond reach of the camera. Harrelson’s ambling tone is charming enough, but one ill-conceived and ill-matched with the insufferable nature of Wilson the person, and the cynical heart of WILSON the film. Quirk doesn’t cut it, and by the time Johnson buries everything under layers of misplaced mawkish ‘charm’ tied to incomprehensible plot turns, his film quickly becomes as much of a mess as the man it’s focussed upon.

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