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Ewan McGregor in the road movie – The Hollywood Reporter


The portrayal of a father and daughter in the drama loosely based on their private relationship creates a fuzzy line between reality and fantasy in You sing louder, and I sing even louder.

This off-kilter drama takes wild rides uneven at times in numbers, but it’s always an eye-catcher thanks to its two stars, who hold the screen the whole time. Ewan McGregor plays a landscaper with a pickup truck who drives his daughter, played by Clara McGregor, to a destination he doesn’t share with her, or with us, until well into the movie. We immediately see the distance between them, though it is as vast as the broad and empty New Mexico landscape they pass through, a lonely expanse of desert and scrub. He’s clearly nervous with anxiety, and she’s aggressive. Their personalities have no names, a device that serves no purpose, because these people are so specific. But the slow disclosure of information works better than the trick of not naming names, allowing their actions and conversations, or silences, to create a natural tone while we learn the backstory.

You sing louder, and I sing even louder

bottom line

Her charismatic co-stars saved her.

place: SXSW Film Festival (narrative highlight)
Throw: Clara McGregor, Ewan McGregor, Vera Boulder, Jake Weary, Kim Zimmer
exit: Emma Westenberg
writer: Ruby Custer

1 hour 42 minutes

We get a clue when the daughter puts two small bottles of alcohol in her jacket pocket at a convenience store down the road, and another when the father makes a phone conversation looking for a place in a rehab facility. We learn that she was in the hospital that morning for a pill overdose, that he’s taking her to get help like it or not, and that they hardly know each other anymore because he left his marriage when she was a child.

There is more than sexy acting at work here. Both Ewan and Clara McGregor have been public about their individual struggles with addiction and their egos, and the problems behind them now. Clara co-wrote the film’s story with Vera Boulder and Robbie Custer, and Ewan has said that although the road trip is fictional, You sing out loud It is “a reflection of us and our story”. Other details were also invented. The daughter in the film is much younger than Clara when her parents divorced, but like her on-screen counterpart, she admits that she had a hard time accepting her father’s second wife (actually Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who MacGregor has a toddler with, like the father in the film). The emotional wounds on both sides of the parent-child relationship are portrayed quite truthfully here, as the characters head towards what the father hopes will be a fresh start in every way.

This real-life subtext is hard to ignore, and sometimes it feels like a brawl between us and the fictional world. This is largely due to the structure and direction of the film – this is the first film directed by Emma Westenberg, who has made music videos and episodes of the series. face doll And Little Voice – Sometimes plodding and clear. As difficult as it is to fully enter the landscape of a movie, the real-life relationship never really goes away.

There are some nice touches, including a quick flashback from the daughter, who sees herself as a little girl with her cheerful, attentive father. But many times we can feel the wheels turning as the plot progresses. There are detours on the way to introduce some eccentric characters, presumably to liven things up. A tow truck driver (Kim Zimmer) takes them to her family’s home, where her nephew (Jake Weary) is dressed as a clown for a birthday party. There is a frantic rush to find a drugstore and free woman (Boulder, also one of the film’s producers) dancing amidst the twinkling lights of the road. Christopher Ripley’s cinematography effectively captures the void around them for most of the flight, and the colorful spots where they land, but there are plenty of beautiful shots of the skyline.

Even when the story seems embarrassingly muddled, the actors keep us watching. Ewan McGregor, of course, is one of the best and most versatile actors around, as believable as Obi-Wan Kenobi or an ordinary guy trying to save his daughter from his downward spiral into addiction. Clara McGregor, model and actress who appeared in it American Horror Story: New York CityHe has a captivating face and is completely natural in the role. That was not a given. Movie history is filled with people who failed to play versions of themselves, but who carry their own image on screen.

at its best, You sing out loud Preparing. In a lighthearted, hilarious moment, father and daughter sing along to Leona Lewis’ pop song “Bleeding Love,” only to be interrupted by a phone call from the father’s young son — a call that clearly upsets the daughter. It’s the kind of clever juxtaposition the movie could use more.

And there’s an angry outburst near the end, when both father and daughter let out their feelings: his sincere concern and regret, her hurt and damaged sense of herself. This visceral scene needed building, but it was probably more dynamic than the get-go.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.