Everything Must Go (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/10/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Engaging, deceptively low-key indie with a terrific dramatic performance from Will Ferrell and a sharply written script that stays true to the feel of the Raymond Carver story, though the apparent lack of plot won't work for everyone.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Dan Rush (making his feature debut), Everything Must Go is adapted from Raymond Carver's short story Why Don't You Dance? and stars Will Ferrell as Nick Halsey, a lapsed alcoholic who loses his job due to a drink-related incident and returns home to find that his wife has locked him out of the house and thrown all his possessions onto the lawn. Unable to reach her, Nick instead rearranges all his things, flops into his easy chair and decides to live in his front garden.

After some neighbours complain, Nick discovers that the only way he can legally stay on his lawn is if he holds a yard sale, which buys him five days in which to sort his life out. In the meantime, he finds unexpected friendship with a lonely young boy (CJ Wallace as Kenny), bonds with his pregnant new neighbour (Rebecca Hall) and determines to track down an ex-classmate (Laura Dern) after he sees an old message in his high school yearbook.

The Good
Will Ferrell has proven himself in dramatic roles before (Stranger Than Fiction), but he proves an inspired choice here, bringing a relatable everyman quality to the story of a man whose life is collapsing around him. As such, his initial heartfelt plea of “Can this please happen on another day?” is quietly moving but also subtly establishes a mildly dark comedic tone for the film.

The Great
In addition, there's strong support from the always excellent Rebecca Hall (nailing yet another note-perfect American accent) and Michael Pena as his cop best friend (“Came as soon as I could – I had a double homicide”), while CJ Wallace brings an engaging warmth to Kenny and generates unexpectedly touching chemistry with Ferrell - the scenes where he absorbs and applies Nick's motivational sales techniques are an obvious joke but Rush handles them well.

Similarly, the script is excellent, expanding and developing Carver's original story while retaining its slightly surreal quality, though the pacing and relative lack of plot may be off-putting to some.

Worth seeing?
This is an emotionally engaging, quietly contemplative drama with a terrific performance from Will Ferrell. Recommended.

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Everything Must Go (15)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 04:35

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