“Wilson” is one of my favorite films of 2017. It hits that same itch that I get when watching “American Splendor”. The works of Daniel Clowes hit this shady area between cringe and social outcasts. The original Wilson book was published in 2010 and most called it an afterthought. 70 or so short cartoons that depicted the declining life of a spectacle wearing weirdo. His life has gone to shit, but he has a plan for greater things. In the film, he wants to reunite with his ex-wife to find his biological daughter.
The original comic pushes audiences to imagine a lot of what happens off panel and that story takes place over years. The film adaptation looses a lot of punch by forcing all of those story developments into a traditional three act structure. Harrelson and Dern are amazing together, but unfortunately no one else in the film shares in their chemistry. While this has taken a lot of people out of the movie, it feels like you’re missing the journey. Sometimes, being a solid comedy is enough.
Have we seen this kind of film before? Sure. But, the magic is following Woody Harrelson down his decline as the lead character. There’s no rousing redemption for him by the end of the film. Sometimes, a jerk stays a jerk.
- 1 hr and 34 mins
- 20th Century Fox/Fox Searchlight