By: Nick Ferwerda
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a lonely man who is maybe a bit too honest. He struggles to adapt to the modern-age of communication, which only irritates his lack of social awareness, but he’s truly shook up when his father passes away – the only family member Wilson had left in his life.
Sick of being alone, he’s triggered to track down his drug-addled ex-wife, Pippi (Laura Dern). However, not only is he surprised that she’s working on piecing together her own life, but he also finds out he’s the father to her daughter (Isabella Amara). He hastily sets out on another journey to find his wayward child. His determination and neurosis drive him to find that one shot at happiness and family he’s always wanted.
Craig Johnson’s Wilson is a clever comedy based on a graphic novel of the same name written by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Art School Confidential). It’s a faithful adaptation with an impressive, devoted lead performance from Harrelson. Great supporting performances by Dern, Amara, and Judy Greer are also included.
Wilson starts off with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and witty jokes, showcasing director Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) as someone who comprehends neurotic comedy; even if some encounters between Wilson and random strangers go on longer than expected.
The film, however, switches gears from being fun and light to being a darker vehicle for Harrelson and Johnson. The second half isn’t entirely successful since it’s such a drastic change in tone, but Daniel Clowes (who also wrote the screenplay) maintains quality writing.
Despite a rocky finish, Wilson is an entertaining movie – you’re guaranteed to laugh.
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Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda