Wilson's wife Liza has killed herself. As for Wilson, he's hardly all there himself. If he's not weirding out friends and colleagues with his out-of-whack manner, he's sniffing around petrol pumps and the back end of cars (Liza, it seems, gassed herself in their garage). He's carrying his wife's unopened suicide letter, when he hits the road after his boss propositions him, cruising the Deep South with a remote-controlled model aeroplane for a companion. Philip Seymour Hoffman is tailor-cast as this grievous deadweight, but the film (written by his brother Gordy) coasts on his grizzled charisma. The early snapshot scenes set the stage enticingly, and there's a likeable streak of absurdism throughout, but a feyness and a touch of showboating emerge as it rambles on. It doesn't help that Wilson's highway jaunt detaches the movie for too long from the one character who does threaten to get a handle on him - his solicitous mother-in-law, circumspectly played by Kathy Bates - nor that the reticence about Liza herself seems, if not coy, then a distraction as much as an expression of his state of mind.
Cast and crew
|Cast:||Philip Seymour Hoffman