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A Smart Romantic Comedy-Drama: “Tumbledown”

Rebecca Hall-Jason Sudeikis-680

         Indie films
like Tumbledown deserve all the
breaks they can get. This one rewards the viewer with a typically fine
performance by Rebecca Hall and a revelatory one by Jason Sudeikis, whom we
usually associate with comedy. He hasn’t abandoned his sense of humor here—in
fact, it lightens the movie just when it needs it—but he shows colors we
haven’t seen before and points to a rich film career ahead. (He is also playing
Jesse Owens’ coach Larry Snyder in Race, which opens on Friday.)

Griffin Dunne-Jason Sudeikis-680

         Tumbledown is a debut feature for
director Sean Mewshaw, whose wife Desiree van Til wrote the screenplay. It is
all the more impressive for that, as they create credible characters and a
strong sense of place, namely New England. Sudeikis plays a writer who pursues
the widow of a legendary folk singer-songwriter who lives in isolation. She is
hyper-protective of her husband’s work, especially some tapes he left behind,
but Sudeikis is nothing if not persistent… and not surprisingly, a relationship
develops between the two.

         A strong
supporting cast includes Joe Mangianello, Dianna Agron, Blythe Danner, Richard
Masur, and the always-welcome Griffin Dunne. I saw Tumbledown at the Savannah Film Festival last fall, and my fellow
jurors and I were unanimous in voting it Best Picture. It’s a small-scale
endeavor but we found it thoroughly satisfying. You can watch it on VOD right
now, but it’s also playing in theaters.

2 comments

  1. C.C. says:

    It has been criminal how little we have gotten of Griffin Dunne in the last 30 years. I hope he continues this mini comeback.

  2. Meredith van Til (Aussie relation) says:

    I would love to see "Tumbledown" will try to get a copy that can be viewed here Downunder!

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