Seeing Roadkill

Plummer and Farmiga’s charm can’t save this wreck

Film | by Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Boundaries
Roxy Theatre
Opens Friday 20
1.5 out of 5

Christopher Plummer has been amassing considerable goodwill as of late: two Oscar nominations and one win in the last six years, stepping in for some perv to save a troubled production mere weeks from its release, the accumulation of over 60 years of good work… It all adds up. I would even include The Sound of Music GIF of Captain Von Trapp ripping a Nazi flag. At 88, Plummer is living the best life.

Then comes Boundaries, a light-as-a-feather drama that doesn’t have characters, but hackneyed traits interacting with each other. The script (by Shana Feste, who also directs) is so weak, Plummer and the rest of the cast must use their charm to keep the movie from sinking in a mire of clichés and trite dialogue.

It’s not enough.

A road movie of sorts, the film follows Laura, a beleaguered cat lady (Vera Farmiga) as she travels across the Pacific coast in an old Rolls Royce (quirky!) to pick up her dad (Plummer) from an assisted living facility. Dad has been expelled for selling pot to his fellow octogenarians and is not particularly remorseful.

Laura has massive abandonment issues: her kid (Lewis MacDougall, A Monster Calls) needs a father figure, but grandpa has his own thing going on and won’t to be tied down. I mean, Laura picks up strays dogs while her father hangs out with Peter Fonda. Hijinks ensue, bonds are repaired, and critics consider gouging their eyes out.

I gave Boundaries the benefit of the doubt despite high levels of preposterousness but when Farmiga and Kristen Schaal staged an impromptu musical number, I checked out. I felt embarrassment for the poor souls who signed on for this terrible movie (then realized they probably got handsomely paid and stopped caring). The climax is so low-key you’ll be shocked. Not because of a twist, but the feeling of “is that it?” that follows.