Review: Rest Of Us a reflective, touching family drama

This review initially appeared during FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, and is being re-printed to coordinate with the theatrical release of this film.

On a night where I was only looking for something to tide me over and get me out of the cinema early enough to be first in line for Palme D’Or winner Parasite, my decision to see The Rest Of Us rocked me.

This is a film that will grip you from the opening seconds, and keep you enthralled in the lives of its rich, multi-layered characters for the entire run-time. Director Aisling Chin-Yee didn’t just create a movie: This is a whole world of emotions and life lessons encapsulated on a reel.

Heather Graham gives a transformative, sensitive performance that could very well mark a change in the direction of her career trajectory. Known for gross-out, low-brow hits like The Hangover, Anger Management and Austin Powers, she hasn’t flexed an acting muscle in years.

Here, in the lead, she makes her role as a woman who takes in her ex-husband’s new family following his death look easy.

When she welcomes “the other woman” from her own previous marriage, and the young daughter her ex fathered into her home following a tragedy, they must contend with their anger and sadness over the loss of a difficult, selfish man while realizing he died in debt, leaving nothing to either of the families he was accountable to.

The two mother-daughter duos navigate their emotions as lies, resentments and fears bubble to the surface. This is, by a landslide, one of the funniest, most emotionally resonant movies I’ve seen this year. It’s a work that needs to be seen. It will leave you speechless.

4.5/5 Stars

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