Passenger Side

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
04._Joel_Bissonnette,_Victor_Martinez,_Roberto_Enrique,_Adam_Scott.jpg

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Writer-director Matt Bissonnette’s indie is a pleasurably downbeat exercise in slacker comedy: it’s basically a two-hander road movie with two reaquainting brothers on a day-long magical mystery tour of Los Angeles in the elder sibling’s old green BMW. Thirty-seven-year-old Michael (Adam Scott) has the naivety and spiky self-protectiveness of an isolated and unsuccessful novelist, while Tobey (Joel Bissonnette, Matt’s brother) is a recovering addict whose list of backwater hangouts (motorway laybys in Santa Monica, a remote bikers’ cafe, a porn director’s home) gives Michael cause to doubt his younger brother’s rehabilitation.

It’s a nicely edited film, benefitting from the glow and neat shadows of the Californian sun and cinematographer Jonathon Cliff’s eye for transient architectural curios, which never upstages the bar-room balm provided by the indie rock soundtrack. Bissonnette’s script is a bit schematic and self-reflexive, and the gallery of lost Angelinos the pair encounter are predictably eccentric, dissolute or borderline psychopathic, but the playing of the leads and other cast is uniformly low-key, persuasive and amusing. A late, if predictable, twist and a moral reversal are as acceptable and reassuring as a ‘Welcome Home’ sign. Shame we no longer have late-night double-bills; Bissonnette’s chilled feature would work well as a droll warm-up for a Jarmusch, Bob Rafelson or early Wenders movie.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday April 1 2011
Duration:
85 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Matt Bissonnette
Screenwriter:
Matt Bissonnette
Cast:
Adam Scott
Joel Bissonnette
Robin Tunney