Directed by: JORDAN ROBERTS
Produced by: ELLIOTT LEWITT,
Starring: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN,
JOSH LUCAS, MICHAEL CAINE
Released by: Warner Independent
Short: Four generations of men
try to sort out their past on an emotional
journey that takes them onto the road. Twisted
family members and turning plots make this
a movie worth seeing.
Up the Past
Men Explore the Road Less Traveled to Sort Out Their
Lair family is eccentric to say the least. Patriarch
Henry (Michael Caine), a former archaeologist, is dying
and trying to find the right burial ritual... mummification
and being eaten by rats while his tribe dances around
him are just some of the options. His estranged son
Turner (Christopher Walken) hasn’t been seen
for 30 years. Turner’s reputation as a junkie
and thief haunts his offspring, Jason (Josh Lucas),
who is trying to give his own child, six-year-old
Zach (newcomer Jonah Bobo), a normal life even though
Zach’s mother left them to go paint in Nepal.
Turner shows up, just in time for his father’s
death. To fulfill Henry’s final wishes, the
Lair men reluctantly embark on a road trip together.
The breathtaking landscape of the southwest is their
backdrop on a journey where family secrets are unearthed
and relationships are mended. Writer/director Jordan
Roberts keeps the story from being clichéd
and sentimental—perhaps because the movie is
inspired by his relationship with his own absent father.
The film is infused with humorous moments such as
funeral rituals at KFC, as well as bittersweet scenes
where Jason struggles to understand and forgive his
has finally found his place as a lead dramatic actor.
While he is seemingly the only rational man in the
family, he’s in fact striving to maintain stability
as he denies a deep-seeded anger. Bobo is charming
without being precocious. As for Caine, his time on
screen was short, but his presence was felt through
to the end. While all the performances were excellent,
Walken’s portrayal of a tormented father weighed
down by tragedy and guilt stood out.
dysfunctional families are nothing new to the big
screen, the quirky moments and genuine relationships
between these four men made this movie worth seeing.