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Movie Details

  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 2014-06-13 Limited
  • Running Time: 117 min.
  • Director: Andrew Levitas
  • Cast: Amy Adams, Jessica Brown Findlay, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Jennifer Hudson, Anne Archer, Richard Jenkins
  • Writer: Andrew Levitas
  • Distributor: ARC Entertainment

Rarely has the terminal seemed as interminable as it does in Lullaby, writer-director Andrew Levitas's tedious saga of a family reuniting at the deathbed of their paterfamilias. With business bigwig Robert (Richard Jenkins) intent on pulling his own plug after a 12-year battle with cancer, his estranged son, Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund), who long ago abandoned his clan to pursue a music career on the West Coast, returns to New York, where he acts out like a spoiled brat mostly interested in Dad's decision to give away his fortune. Also upset are quietly moping wife Rachel (Anne Archer) and angry daughter Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay), who files a legal injunction to stop Robert from killing himself.

A quartet of unbearable types whose sheer unpleasantness makes even their suffering hard to sympathize with, they're joined in this protracted drama by Jennifer Hudson as a sassy nurse, Terrence Howard as a featureless doctor, Jessica Barden as a teenage cancer patient who shares cigarettes with Jonathan (and, eventually, a faux-prom night dance and kiss), and, in a pointless supporting role that feels like she accidentally wandered on set, Amy Adams as Jonathan's ex-girlfriend. Memories are shared, grievances are aired, regrets are expressed, and apologies are made, though like Hedlund's singing, this maudlin film's portrait of mortality and grief is egregiously off-key.

Nick Schager

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