DON MCKAY Movie Review
DON MCKAY tells the story of a janitor, Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church), who receives a letter from his ex-girlfriend Sonny (Elisabeth Shue), whom he hasn’t seen in 25 years, telling him that she is dying and wants him to come see her. Don decides to return home, but Sonny doesn’t seem quite the same as he remembered her. On top of it all, everything and everyone at her house seems a little off, including her nurse Marie (Melissa Leo) and her doctor (James Rebhorn).
When I went to see Don McKay, all I knew about it was what I had seen in the trailer, which sparked my curiosity, and what the director, Jake Goldberger teased about it when I interviewed him (read my interview here). So needless to say I was excited to see it.
All I can say is that if nothing else, Don McKay will keep you guessing until the end. There are so many twists and turns that you won’t know the whole story until the very end of the film, and I loved that! Don McKay has one of the most original stories that I have seen in a while. And although the movie has a slow pace, it is filled with lots of comedic moments and fascinating characters and I wasn’t bored for one second. Jake Goldberger has crafted a brilliant script that will leave you thinking about it for some time after the movie is over.
Of course, the story is just part of what I loved about Don McKay. that characters are so intriguing and three dimensional, which is not only due to Jake Goldberger great writing, but the amazing performances from the actors. Thomas Haden Church owns the part of Don McKay. He has created such a distinct character with very specific mannerism, that by the end of the movie you’ll forget that this is not actually who he is. Elisabeth Shue is great in the part of Sonny. She is able to create a really peculiar character while remaining adorable. There is one scene that highlights her character that I particularly loved and will remember for a long time, but since it is all the way at the end of the film I won’t spoil it for you and let you see it for yourself. It should also come as no surprise that Melissa Leo was equally brilliant, especially if you have seen her previous work (I would recommend watching Frozen River if you haven’t yet). Finally, the rest of the cast, which includes James Rebhorn, M. Emmet Walsh, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Keith David, comes together perfectly to create this quirky world.
As a first time director, I think that Jake Goldberger did an amazing job, even better than more experienced ones. He created a remarkably vivid world with truly realistic characters living in it. On top of that, he was able to take it to another level by finding the comedy in a pretty dark story, which makes it that much more enjoyable to watch. I personally can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us in the future.
So if you’re looking for a funny, quirky, original dark thriller movie to watch, I highly recommend checking out Don McKay, which opens today, April 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.