Christy Hall makes a humble but rewarding directorial debut daddioa two-handed film starring Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson, the latter also deserves credit for helping produce the offbeat project.
The film begins with a young woman (Johnson) getting into a cab at JFK airport. Her cab driver (Penn) seems pleased that she isn’t dependent on her cell phone and is actually open to conversation. The rest of the film unfolds in the cab as both characters lose their guard and reveal secrets they might not share with many others in their lives. The concept of strangers sharing secrets is not uncommon in drama, and Hall said she was the first to become pregnant daddio as a play. But in the film it works brilliantly thanks to the excellent performances of the two actors and the skillful staging of the director.
The conclusion: A cleverly implemented debut film.
Venue: Telluride Film Festival
Pour: Dakota Johnson, Sean Penn
Writer-Director: Christy Hall
1 hour 41 minutes
Soon, Johnson’s character pulls out her cell phone, where she’s receiving lewd messages from a man asking for some intimate photos. Penn quickly suspects that her phone friend is a married man, and soon realizes that the man is considerably older than Johnson – as the film’s title suggests. Johnson returns from visiting her older half-sister in Oklahoma and the backstory of a distant father emerges, as well as more painful revelations about an absent mother and a history of abuse at the hands of her sister.
As Penn listens with the unbiased wisdom of a man who’s probably heard it all on many other long cab rides, he reveals something about his own loneliness and frustration. But there’s no question that Johnson’s turbulent history will form the core of the story. She appears to have overcome past trauma and embarked on a fairly successful career as a computer programmer, but the old wounds run deep and her current involvement with Daddy (or Daddio) has done little to ease her pain. Viewers might think that Penn almost plays the role of a therapist, asking just the right questions to tell her story and encouraging her to reflect on some of the choices she’s made in her life.
Johnson, probably still best known for her role in the Fifty shades trilogy, has done a good job in other films like The Lost Daughter And Cha cha really gentle. But her performance here is still a revelation. Close-up, she dominates the screen, exuding both strength and a deep sense of hurt. Penn has a history of versatility. He’s played a lot of tough guys, but he exuded humor and warmth in his Oscar-winning role in The Movie milk. Here he exudes some of that charm, providing the perfect contrast to Johnson. In the course of their conversation, Penn speaks of two failed marriages and recalls privileged moments from his first marriage. Johnson asks if he misses his wife, and he replies, “Sometimes.” The look on Penn’s face shows the eloquence a gifted actor can muster without saying more than a word.
Something should be added to the physical challenges of shooting almost an entire film in a taxi. According to Hall, most of the film was actually shot in a studio with a taxi cab set up on the stage. The fact that it feels so authentic is a tribute not only to the director but also to veteran cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska, The Trial of the Chicago 7) and production designer Kristi Zea (The departed, The silence of the Lambs). There are few exterior shots in the film, and one of them shows the aftermath of a horrific accident that significantly delayed the protagonists’ journey. This scene is not irrelevant; It conveys the fragility of life and the importance of a meaningful connection in an often dangerous world.
The two main characters here definitely made that connection as Johnson reaches her destination in Manhattan. The conclusion leaves their future completely open, but the two magnificent performances and the tactful hand of a gifted new director ensure that audiences will think of these people long after the journey is over.
Source : www.hollywoodreporter.com