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September 06, 2012

FOR ELLEN

For Ellen Minimalist filmmaking goes amiss in the immature hands of South Korean auteur So Yong Kim. Ostensibly a character study, “For Ellen” sees Paul Dano playing Joby Taylor, a rudderless singer in a nondescript pro rock band who drives to the snowy Midwest to tie up overdue divorce papers with his estranged wife Claire (Margarita Leveiva), and spend a couple of quality hours with his six-year-old daughter Ellen for the first time ever.

Image result for for ellen movie 2011

A circular character arch prevents the film from achieving any lasting effect. Dano gives a convincing performance as the twentysomething rocker who wears his ego on his black-polished-nails, but the movie is a wash.

Image result for for ellen 2011 Margarita Leveiva

“For Ellen” is the kind of indie effort that critics like Variety’s Robert Khoehler bend over backwards to praise when the film’s actual dramatic consequence akin to a tub of cottage cheese. It’s clumpy, white, and bland. Personally, I never want to see another film by So Yong Kim. Ever.

Not Rated. 99 mins.

2 Stars

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