2012, Ry Russo-Young
Nobody Walks isn’t a film that anyone needs to see. If you’ve seen any of the work from Lisa Cholodenko or Nicole Holofcener, then you’ve already seen better versions of this very basic setup. Written by Lena Dunham and Ry Russo-Young, Nobody Walks is yet another one of those small, independent character studies of an ensemble of unlikeable, selfish and lost artistic types messing up themselves and others in California. It’s all been done before, and the weak script adds nothing new or special to the tired formula.
There are a few scenes that stand out, particularly from the angle of Ry Russo-Young’s directing, a prime example being one that focuses on the instruments used by two of the main characters in order to capture unique sounds for a film they are making. Despite the lackluster work from Russo-Young and Dunham, the cast elevates this to a relative balance between the positive and negative overall. Headlined by the young and immensely talented Olivia Thirlby, the ensemble cast is loaded with great actors who don’t often get a chance to do much heavy-lifting in films; people like John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt (the two of whom will be seen together again in Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land) and Justin Kirk.
All of the actors do solid work here, particularly Thirlby, who after years of being the supporting “indie” girl in movies beneath her skill level. Hopefully some people will see her performance here and start giving her better films, because she deserves a much better career than the one she currently has. The actors make the most of what they’ve got, but with Russo-Young’s awkward pacing and the thin, derivative and ultimately cold script, they can’t really do too much to elevate the overall product. They save it from being a disaster, or even from being a waste of time, but this one seems like it was a bit of a lost cause from conception.
Film #319 of The 365 Film Challenge.