Release Date: March 02, 2012
Starring: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano,
Julianne Moore, Olivia
Thirlby, Wes Studi, Lili
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features/Comcast
Director: Paul Weitz
Executive Producer: Jane Rosenthal, Meghan Lyvers,
Kerry Kohansky, Caroline
Bacon, Nick Flynn
Producer: Paul Weitz, Andrew Miano,
Writer: Paul Weitz
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
James Schamus, CEO, Focus Features (A Division of NBC Universal and Comcast)
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000; Fax: (212) 539-4099
Robert De Niro stars as Jonathan Flynn, a middle-aged alcoholic who abandoned his wife and son years ago. Jonathan imagines himself “a master storyteller.” He’s been writing a novel for years, a novel which he never seems to finish. Jonathan hasn’t seen his son, Nick, played by Paul Dano, for 18 years. In the meantime, Nick’s mother had a series of boyfriends and worked in low-paying jobs, until she eventually committed suicide.
Nick is a poet. Remembering that one thing his father did teach him was to help other people, Nick takes a job at a homeless shelter. One day, his father, Jonathan, shows up as one of the homeless men. Nick is forced to engage with Jonathan, who has racist attitudes toward African Americans. Also, Jonathan’s stint in prison for check forgery has left him with a bad taste for homosexuals.
Nick tries to cut through his father mental instability. Eventually, however, the strain is too much, and Nick starts becoming addicted to alcohol himself, plus cocaine and crack. When his girlfriend chastises Nick and breaks up with him, will Nick take her advice to get himself into a recovery program.
BEING FLYNN is sometimes captivating, but it’s filled with foul language and substance abuse. Though Nick does get into a recovery program and straighten out his life, there’s nothing religious about his experience. Also, the last scene shows Nick getting the last word on his father’s more negative qualities. In voiceover, viewers hear the father saying that he bequeaths the last word to Nick. However, this last scene left a sour taste in the reviewer’s mind. It was also somewhat politically correct and self-righteous, in that it dealt with the father’s hostility toward black people.
Ultimately, despite some interesting scenes and compassionate moments, BEING FLYNN seems to be a humanist, somewhat politically correct movie. The average filmgoer may very well end up not really liking any of the characters in this intense drama about substance abuse, insanity, art, and family.
BEING FLYNN is sometimes captivating, but it’s filled with foul language and substance abuse. There’s nothing religious about the story. Also, the last scene shows Nick getting the last word on his father’s more negative qualities. This last scene leaves a sour taste. Despite some compassionate moments, BEING FLYNN seems to be humanist and somewhat politically correct. BEING FLYNN probably won’t attract the average moviegoer.