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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Kodachrome

Kodachrome, a Netflix original, is an example of good actors trying to prop up a mediocre script. It's full of cliches: the road trip, the reconciliation of father and son, and the transformation of a bristly relationship into a loving one.

Jason Sudeikis is a record company executive who loses his best band to another label. He is going to be fired, but talks his way into a last chance to sign a band that is about to break out. But he is visited by a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who is his father's caregiver. He's dying. But Sudeikis hates his father (Ed Harris), who is a famous photographer. Eventually he will agree to accompany them to the last place that develops Kodachrome film, in Kansas.

So here we have the road trip with father and son snapping at each other. Harris was a terrible father and a prick who speaks his mind. Of course they will start trying to bridge the gap, and I will admit their final reconciliation did bring a tear to my eye (I'm only human).

We also get the well-worn plot point of Sudeikis and Olsen not liking each other at first, but then ending up in the sack. This was as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

The film was saved by the fine performances of these three, especially Harris. It was a pleasure to see this veteran play an asshole. He is a photographer, and you can see how he thinks like one (the situation is true--a place in Kansas was the last to develop that kind of film). Although the reconciliation is contrived, both actors work hard to sell it.

The film was directed without much flair by Mark Raso, and written by A.G. Sulzberger, who happens to be the publisher of the New York Times. He might want to stick to journalism.

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