Review by Annar Veröld.
Everything Must Go is an adaptation of 5-paged short story, “Why Don’t You Dance?” by Raymond Carter. The film– debut feature film of director Dan Rush– tells the story of an alcoholic salesman, who experiences a series of losses on the same day. Returning home after being fired for misconduct on a business trip, salesman Nick Hasley (Will Ferrell) arrives to find all of his belongings thrown out on the front lawn. From that moment on, the story plays on Hasley holding a yard sale and being forced to undergo internal changes for the sake of survival.
The film follows Nick Hasley’s struggle to overcome his inevitable twist of fate. We witness the character’s darkness only become darker, with a gentle light shined by his supportive and caring neighbors, Rebecca and Kenny. Showcased are the horrible withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism, when Nick can no longer finance his addiction, and when his wife clearly is not willing to return. There are hints of betrayal and hopelessness, which only leave the film more captivating and intriguing. Even though the film touches base with serious or darker issues, such as alcoholism and divorce, there is plenty of comic relief and heart-warming and amusing moments between Hasley and neighborhood kid, Kenny.
The cast features very few people, primarily revolving around three main characters– Hasley’s pregnant and kind-hearted neighbor, Samantha (Rebecca Hall); a lonesome and attached neighborhood kid, Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace); and of course Nick Hasley.
Despite the cast being rather small, all performances were captivating and credible. Christopher Jordan Wallace’s performance was particularly notable. Now at the age of 14, Wallace’s performance was incredibly convincing. On the screen, Wallace exuded talent. Familiar with the cinematic world, Wallace’s debut performance was in 2009’s Notorious, where he performed the childhood role of his father, Notorious B.I.G, reeling in $21.5 million. His performance in Everything Must Go, simply shines of maturity, promise, and natural talent.
During the question and answer session with Will Ferrell, Ferrell briefly mentioned that his character’s struggle with alcohol addiction was something that had to be studied very carefully, mentioning that his character, like many real-life alcoholics, downplay their addiction to blend into society. Ferrell’s performance radiates from the small details, revealing an array of talent. We have seen a few comedic actors, in the recent years, transition from funny films to dramatic roles. Looking back, Ferrell’s convincing performance in Stranger Than Fiction shined a light on his potential. Though, most are weary of seeing their favorite comedic actors shift in the tone of their performance, Ferrell’s character is impressive and believable.
Everything Must Go plays strongly on subtlety, where the brilliant cinematography and picture have a strong role.The film has slower moments to highlight the character’s struggle, but never ceases to keep moving forward. During the question and answer session, Will Ferrell stated, “What I like about the film is that is not afraid to be slow. It takes its time at the appropriate time”.
Watch the official trailer for Everything Must Go below:
Everything Must Go opens in Austin on May 13. For more information about the film, visit the official website here.