Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hello I Must Be Going

Hello I Must Be Going
Director: Todd Louiso
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Abbott, Blythe Danner

Hello I Must Be Going begins like every student film you've ever seen: a woman slowly wakes up and brushes her teeth. But the film hurdles this obstacle quickly and becomes a charming tale of personal growth, discovery, and, of course, love.

While going through a divorce, Amy (Melanie Lynskey) moves back in with her parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein) and sinks into a depression, slumming around the house in the same ratty shirt day after day. When her dad hosts a party at the house to impress a new client, the client's 19-year-old son Jeremy (Christopher Abbott) makes an impression on Amy. They're both treated like children at dinner, with their families carrying on conversations about them as if they weren't even there, and the two share a moment after dinner. What starts as a quick fling evolves into a relationship that will change them forever, allowing them both to grow up even though there's a large age gap between them.

It's not the most original concept, especially for a film festival seemingly built for these types of movies, but it's got a lot of heart and the acting is excellent. Lynskey balances palpable realism and conservative comedy in her performance and she's a joy to watch, never straying into melodramatic or over the top territory. Danner adds to her impressive resume with some more solid work, and though I found Abbott to be the weak link, he was still agreeable in the role of the young suitor. The script is compelling and brisk enough, with no noticeable lag time and some fascinating relationships at play between families.

Ultimately, Hello I Must Be Going succeeds or fails on the virtues of Lynskey's performance, and I was totally invested from the start. (OK, maybe right after the teeth brushing scene.) I'm very interested to see what she's got coming up next, but in the meantime, check this one out if you get a chance. It's a small little love story with a good twist on the standard coming-of-age tales you see every year. Until next time...


JDT said...

Is news of a major or indie film studio acquiring it in a lucrative distribution deal ever going to be reported?

Ben Pearson said...

No word yet.

JDT said...


It's been nearly a month, and my search for any further news on whether ''Hello I Must Be Going" is likely to ever get a distributor in the coming months has turned up nothing. I'd hate it if another movie with Melanie Lynskey in the lead slips out of sight. Has anything regarding this film's acquisition by a movie studio been reported by any of the movie news websites within the past week or so?

Ben Pearson said...

I haven't seen anything recently, and I just did a fairly exhaustive search and haven't come across any word on the film whatsoever post-Sundance. It's a shame - this movie at least deserves a proper VOD release.

Ben Pearson said...

JDT, you'll be thrilled to know the movie has just been picked up. Here's the press release I just got about it:

New York, New York (March 9, 2012)—Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Todd Louiso’s HELLO I MUST BE GOING, the comedy that had its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival 2012. Oscilloscope will release the film theatrically later this year.

HELLO I MUST BE GOING stars acclaimed actress Melanie Lynskey (WIN WIN, UP IN THE AIR, 2 AND A HALF MEN) in her break-out role as a recently divorced New York photographer who moves back in with her parents at their suburban Connecticut home. Initially demoralized and uncertain of her future, Amy begins an affair with a 19-year-old actor that rejuvenates her passion for life and helps her discover the kind of independence and fulfillment she suddenly realizes had been missing for years.

Of the film, Oscilloscope says, “Todd has made the sort of smart, sophisticated, and charming film that we don’t see nearly enough of these days. Melanie Lynskey is a revelation in the lead role, delivering an incredibly insightful and layered performance that is at the heart of the movie, making Amy both an endearing and honest character. With its generous humanity and seamless blending of comedy and drama, the movie is reminiscent of classics from directors like Billy Wilder and James L. Brooks, yet it has a distinct and modern sensibility all its own. We loved it from the moment we saw it at Sundance, and we are thrilled to be working with this great filmmaking team to bring it out into the world.”

"In making the film, we became a close knit group. Todd, Sarah, Hans and I are thrilled to bring Oscilloscope into the family. We love their taste and are thrilled that HELLO I MUST BE GOING has earned a place on the Oscilloscope slate." said producer Mary Jane Skalski.

The film co-stars Blythe Danner as Amy’s mother and newcomer Christopher Abbott as her younger but surprisingly wise love interest. It was written by Sarah Koskoff , produced by Mary Jane Skalski and Hans Ritter.

The deal was negotiated by WME Global's Liesl Copland and Deb Mcintosh for the filmmakers and David Fenkel for O-Scope.

Currently in release from Oscilloscope is Lynne Ramsay’s Golden Globe Nominated, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, and Ezra Miller. Upcoming films for 2012 include Andrea Arnold’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Matt Ross’s 28 HOTEL ROOMS and Ryan O’Nan’s BROOKLYN BROTHERS BEAT THE BEST.