Len and Company
Directed by Tim Godsall
A successful music producer quits the industry and exiles himself in upstate New York, but the solitude he seeks is shattered when his estranged son and the pop star he's created come looking for answers.
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★★★½ review by onemarathon on Letterboxd
An odd, low-key - and not very traditional - father-son relationship drama. Len and Company doesn't aim to set the world on fire and that's all right; it accomplishes something else. A quiet study of a man who's lived a life few get to live... Len is a worn-out rock star turned music producer. He's experienced a life of ups and downs, poverty and hardship as a kid and as a young man, then fame and fortune... and the excess and problems that come with them.
Len now lives a secluded life somewhere out in the New York State boonies, trying to avoid people and their problems. And that includes his estranged son, Max. But Max, a young man now, actually, arrives unannounced one day, just to visit. Their relationship is strained, no thanks to Len's lack of social skills.
There are other visitors, all an annoyance of one sort or another to the cranky old master of the house. Amongst the gruff, if not exactly angry, bits, there are moments of humour. Hey, it happens. The best laugh is Len's appearance in a sort of "show and tell" at a school.
It's an odd story, but rather genuine... good enough acting and writing. Surprisingly enjoyable; I got more than I expected from this little flick.
★★★½ review by jerry hudson on Letterboxd
enjoyed, though dislikeable main character. ifan does inhabit role.
★★★★ review by Japeman on Letterboxd
A pretty good movie. Rhys Ifans plays such an unlikable character though. Juno Temple is great in this bittersweet comedy, however.
An interesting story about fathers and sons and a man at the end of his rope.
I really enjoyed this :)
★★★½ review by Adam Mulgrew on Letterboxd
Rhys Ifans stars as Len, a successful music producer who became so disillusioned with the music industry, he packed up and quit right in the middle of an awards ceremony. Now living in a quiet neighborhood in upstate New York, Len spends his days listening to music, watching old British TV shows and hanging out with local kid William (Keir Gilchrist).
That quiet existence is disrupted by the arrival of both his estranged son Max (Jack Kilmer) and his pop star protege Zoe (Juno Temple), who is looking to escape the parties and press that are taking over her life.
Directed by first timer Tim Godsall, Len & Company is a slight but nuanced film and Godsall mines a lot of good material from his three leads and the way they bounce off each other in their secluded house. Both Max, an aspiring rock star, and Zoe, who is on the verge of a breakdown, are seeking some kind of fatherly guidance from Len and desperately want his approval but Len is in the midst of his own mid-life crisis and just wants peace.
Temple and Kilmer are both fantastic but this is Ifans' show and he seems to relish Len's blunt, curmudgeonly nature. Ifans conveys with some level of subtlety the regrets and longing for a different era that bubble beneath his grumpy exterior and occassionally bursts into moments of real passion and fire. It's one of Ifans' most interesting performances to date.
Some unwelcome melodrama in the third act, via a misjudged stalker angle, feels entirely out of place and knocks the film off its path a little bit but nonetheless, this is a curiously compelling little film.
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