The Way Way Back

The Way Way Back ★★★★

Way way better than the previous film from Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, The Descendants. Here we have a coming of age movie which doesn't neglect the characters surrounding the kid who has to grow up. A rich ensemble bolsters this film, from Toni Collette's fantastic confused mother to Steve Carell's against type mean boyfriend to Sam Rockwell's immature guidance councilor, everybody here is great and has several layers to play. The story is pretty typical of these kinds of things, it's just that everything works so well and the writing fills each trope with some nuance. It's too bad that Liam James, the boy at the center of it all, isn't super great. He's fine, serviceable, but not as outstanding as, say, Allison Janney. Then again, who could be?

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