The Hollars Review - Heartwarming, A Touching, Winning, Ensemble Performance

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Hollars, from Sony Picture Classics, presents the story of a middle class American family, with all the rites of passage that brings them to one moment that tests the family's strength, love and the lessons nurtured.

Directed by John Krasinski, The Hollars stars Margo Martindale, Richard Perkins, John Krasinski, Sharlto Copley, Anna Kendrick, Randall Park, Charlie Day, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and was written by Jim Strouse.

The Hollars begins in the home of Sally and Don Hollar, played by Emmy winners Margo Martindale and Richard Jenkins, who are beginning the day with their usual routine, which is somewhat disrupted as their first born, Ron, played by Sharlto Copley, has returned to live at home.

From off screen, a thud is heard and Don rushes to the bathroom to find Sally on the floor. They get her to the hospital where she is awake and in good spirits with the usual selflessness and calm she has used to manage the household for nearly forty years.

With the first born, Ron, hovering about, calling the second son, John, played by Director John Krasinski, was left to Don. John, a budding cartoonist, has left the small Midwestern town for the big city. A day away by car or a couple of hours, if need be, by plane he could be home for an emergency looking at the cell, today was not one of the days he wanted to talk about "the future."

John is living with Rebecca, played by Anna Kendrick, who is actually about to deliver their child. The idea of explaining again why he still hasn't married her and a looming deadline was a bit much. Rebecca suddenly shows up at his midtown office, nine months pregnant, trying to explain.

Once he understands it's not her and it is his mother who is sick, he is off. Soon the three Hollar men are speaking with the doctor, trying to step out of the roles they maintained throughout their entire life and all be adults.

At a loss, the two are trying to understand why she let it go for so long. Confronting the unknown, not understanding what is happening, and of course as the matriarch who genuinely loves her life, her husband and sons, even as each of them are stumbling as they try to make their way, finding out meant confronting the truth of the illness: terminal or not.

Of course, it is as she expected and completely unexpected to everyone else. The brain tumor diagnosis was a punch in the gut to her family. With that the sons suddenly have to be grown up and face realities that aren't supposed to happen yet.

Sally isn't the only one who has been ignoring trouble and warning signs, the family business, which Don has run throughout his entire adult life is deeply struggling. Circumstances brought John to the one place he did not expect to run into anyone who knew him and when confronted he came clean.

Ron who recently divorced his wife, Gwen, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead recently began dating Reverend Dan, played by Josh Groban, and is truly having a hard time adjusting to life without his family. As he processes the possibilities of his mom's diagnosis his behavior toward his former wife and two daughters continues to be questionable and potentially criminal.

I truly enjoyed The Hollars. Without going too far back it reminded me of a season in my own life when life took an unexpected turn.

The Hollars is very much an ensemble performance. The talent is impressive. Fine-tuned performances they bring an "A" game to this small art house film, and are able to translate the exactness of emotions as they deal with the unthinkable.

The unexpected sickness of the family matriarch has her boys and husband unsure of how life will continue without the glue, the rock, that held them together through life, the ups, downs, pitfalls and mountaintops.

Margo Martindale, who is one of the most impressive talents working today, takes ahold of her role as Sally and presents a flawless narrative as she prepares for the unknown. Her performance arch, which hits a peak as she the doctors come to take her to surgery is shocking, moving, and very sad. It is the only time she reveals her vulnerability.

That moment delivers a packed punch and as her co-star and director John Krasinski said during the press conference, reacting to her performance "we didn't know what to do" at that moment which would be the natural reaction. Her ability to hit the high moments is so strong.

She brought down the house with that scene that took "all of one take," according to Krasinski and as a reactionary actor her delivery silenced them. I wouldn't be surprised to see this performance nominated during awards season. 

Each of the performers have a monologue or single spotlight moment where the show rests on their capable skill and talent. The Hollars is very much a family movie with great acting so much so that one can almost see oneself in the players.

John Krasinski, as director, praised the cast for their consummate professionalism. He lauded every co-star as both director, and co-star, noting that Anna Kendrick was shooting another film simultaneously and took it upon herself to drive from that location to Jackson, Mississippi, where The Hollars filmed.

The Hollars is heartwarming. A touching, tearjerker, that effortlessly brings one of life's challenging moments to the big screen and infuses it with humor. With a lifetime to mourn, remembering the kindnesses, the love, the laughter which they do and fortunately the new beginnings who decides to punctuate an ending with a beginning.

The Hollars has a double pack Kleenex alert attached to it. So be prepared. It is affecting, sad, tender, moving and impressive.

The Hollars opens August 26, 2016. Check local listings. See it! 

Haute Tease

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Fails Handling Belgium Attack; Brussels; ISIS, Taliban Strike Three Cities; Election 2016

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two separate terror organizations, Islamic State and the Taliban, initiated an active, multi-national, campaign this week, sending out three teams of suicide bombers, killing at least 141 and injuring more than 500 in the attacks in Belgium, Iraq and Pakistan.

     
  • French President Promises Pitiless Retaliation (Speech Included)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    French President François Hollande, in the aftermath of the Night of Terror, has vowed “pitiless” retaliation against those who facilitated, funded and coordinated the attacks in central Paris that killed 166 and injured hundreds more.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Democrats Sworn into Second Term; Gun Control Demands Gain Support

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Barack Hussein Obama and Joseph Robinette Biden, in a ceremony witnessed by over 20million viewers, were sworn into second terms, this week, as the 44th President and Vice President of the United States of America.

     
  • Cal Phil Chorale Joins Heralded Maestro Victor Vener And His World-Class Orchestra For First Of Spectacular Five Concert Summer Series

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Maestro Victor Vener and the acclaimed California Philharmonic present what promises to be another awe-inspiring summer series of concerts, mixing stage and sound, at the iconic music destination the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

     
  • DETROIT Review - Emotionally Riveting, Shocking, An Early Oscar Favorite

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    DETROIT, from Annapurna Pictures, presents the story of the 1967 Detroit Riots, one night, three rouge cops, a city out of control, and an horrific encounter at the Algiers Hotel, which would end with three dead, others, the survivors, incapacitated.

     
  • Doctoral Candidate Held in Dark Knight Rises Mass Murder Spree

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman opened fire in a  filled to capacity Colorado theater killing 12 and wounding over fifty during the midnight opening screening of the Warner Bros film "The Dark Knight Rises."

     
  • Beltway Insider: The President, The Porn Star and Polarizing Politics; Norway; Trump/UK Protests; Pakistan Child Killer

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump hosted Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway this week discussing a number of issues including the allegiance the two nations share, NATO commitments, economic developments and topics as diverse as Crimea and the Russian Election probe.

     
  • HL London: Reallife Theatre Company Manchester Returns with JB SHORTS 14

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    After 13 sell-out seasons and 78 World Premieres, Reallife Theatre Company returns November 3, 2015 with JB Shorts 14, an evening of six more fifteen minute plays by top TV writers, staged at Joshua Brooks in Manchester.

     
  • Op/Ed: The REAL Fake News

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Today, the term 'Fake News' is firmly entrenched in our lexicon. It seems everyone from Trumpite retirees, to neo-political millennials, freely toss around the phrase. The term was even recognized as, "The Word of the Year" by UK-based Collins Dictionary.

     
  • UPDATED:Iranian Nuclear Deal Secures Votes to Uphold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Senate Democrats blocked the GOP disapproval resolution of the Iran nuclear deal from going to a final vote today. The vote hands the President a hard won victory at the expense of the long relationship with Israel.

     
  • Sarah Janks, Australian Bridal Designer, Offers Five Tips in Planning Destination Weddings

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Proposal season is officially in height and many new brides-to-be will be jumping to start the wedding planning process in 2016! With more and more brides choosing destination weddings, we have the best tips for travel, dress shopping and ultimately planning the perfect destination wedding.

     
  • LUXE Rodeo Drive Hotel Earns Prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Rating

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS (June 30, 2014) –The Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Rating.  AAA, a not-for-profit federation that services more than 53 million members in the United States and Canada, approves only five percent of its 29,000 properties for this distinction.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Hosts French PM; Merkel Visits; DMZ Line; Bill Cosby; Avengers Shock

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump hosted French President Emanuel Macron, along with the French Delegation to the White House this week for a series of bi-lateral meetings and to honor the United States oldest ally with the first State Dinner.

     
  • CES 2016: Smart Cars Debut Preview Future of the High Tech Automobile

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    There is no better place to witness the future of the automotive industry than at CES. Held annually in Las Vegas, CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is the largest event in the consumer electronics industry, with over 170,000 attendees.  

  • Kentucky School Shooting Leaves Two Dead; 18 Injured

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two students are dead and more than a dozen injured, four critically, after a lone gunman opened fire just as students were arriving for the day at Marshall County High School, in rural Kentucky, authorities have said.