Cinematic Releases: Wilson (2017) Reviewed

The delightful and always hilarious Woody Harrelson stars in this week's release of the charming comedic drama, Wilson

Based on Daniel Clowes' graphic novel work about a cynical man enduring the anti-social shell of his drawn out mid-life crises, Wilson gives Harrelson the room he needs to spread his wings as a dramatic lead. Often cast in support roles without the top billing he deserves, Harrelson anchors himself with a believable performance of darkly comedic material that will definitely speak volumes to people that have loved, lost, and fought their way back to the light. Those that have found themselves in a quandary of negativity and a life barren of friends or family will associate well with Wilson. His journey to self discovery and peace is a truly stunning portrait of how easily we can slip into sadness and pain when left to our own devices. Harrelson carries the weight of the film on his shoulders while a super talented and diverse support cast gives him a solid foundation. 

Much like Clowes' Ghost World, this feature is a semi-realistic presentation of snarky humor, tons of unleashed profanity, and characters that feel relevant to the everyday human experience. We've met people like this before. We've bumped into them into cafes. We've dined with them. And we've been at the receiving end of their personal unhappiness. They're characters that exist in the same realm as us, living life and experiencing all its challenges. Wilson shows us the ups and downs. It gives us a heartfelt beginning and an end. And it puts us right in the middle of Wilson's quest for acceptance as he tries to find a definition for the time he may have wasted on being hard and unlikable. Remarkably, Harrelson's performance is an observation of how much he's learned as an actor as he shines from the bleakness of the beginning to the brightness of personal closure at the end. 

You guys got any of them Oscars over there? I sure could use one!

Laura Dern and Woody have a natural chemistry that flows perfectly on the screen while their gothy, teenage counterpart (Isabella Amara) plays the angst ridden third wheel with ease. Her performance fits perfectly with older, more experienced actors. Judy Greer also has a support role that feels awfully close to other things she's done before. However, she also has an uncanny sense of chemistry with Harrelson. Their moments together feel like they've known each other for years. Other bit parts are played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, Margo Martindale, and an angry David Warshofsky. 

If you enjoyed films like Ghost World or Art School Confidential, this version of Wilson will be right up your alley. With a great script and wonderful acting all around, this is an early year character study that deserves many accolades. Seeing Laura Dern age gracefully for the camera and watching Woody Harrelson continue to push himself as an actor are two reasons to see this movie in theaters. I honestly cannot suggest this movie enough. Harrelson deserves an Oscar nod for this one.