Alex of Venice (2015)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson, Derek Luke, Katie Nehra, Chris Messina, Skylar Gaertner, Reg E. Cathey, and Timm Sharp
Directed by Chris Messina
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Winstead is captivating as the beleaguered mother who has spent so much time dealing with work that she's abandoned her family. Her character feels grounded in reality as do most of the inhabitants of the film including Don Johnson's understated portrayal of an actor coming to grips with the onset of memory loss. However, the flick -- the first screenplay for two of three credited screenwriters -- feels too kitchen sink-y to really resonate. Divorce and abandonment and environmental protests and medical issues and even playwright Anton Chekov feel as if the writers just didn't know where to draw the line when it came to editing. The Chekov inclusion, in particular, feels much too "final college thesis" rather than theatrical film to be anything other than laughable.
Admittedly, I'm making Alex of Venice sound worse than it is. It's a watchable indie drama with decent performances that unfortunately is hampered by a script that doesn't do its cast any favors. While it wouldn't necessarily be a bad watch, there are better things to stream on Netflix.
The RyMickey Rating: C