After being widowed, Frank Fogle reluctantly embarks on a journey to honor his wife’s last wish of spreading her ashes in a remote lake in her native Ireland and a promise of taking his estranged son, Sean, along for the trip. As Sean steps out of prison the last thing on his mind is a foreign road trip with his alienated father. What he needs is a fresh start in California. But when his travel plans collapse he reluctantly accepts his father’s proposal in return for a ticket to the West Coast and a promise that they never have to see each other again. Between a disconcerting Irish wake, the surfacing of an old flame, the pick up of a pretty hitchhiker and plenty of unresolved issues, the journey becomes a little more than father and son had bargained for.
Chuck says: Director Elfar Adalsteins’ deliberate approach benefits this poignant story as we come to know the father and son before discovering what has driven them apart. Hawkes and Lerman effectively play against type, while the script by Michael Armbruster is a subtle construction that wisely doesn’t lay the sentiment on too thickly. Still, the ending comes off as a bit too convenient yet it’s not enough to mar this well-intended, poignant exercise.
Pam says: Incredible performances by both Hawkes and Lerman as the script thoughtfully delves into the psychology of a damaged father-son relationship as it thrusts the pair into an environment to confront their deepest emotions. It’s a journey of discovery of each other and of self beautifully set in Ireland. Director Elfar Adalsteins takes his time in allowing the viewer to get to know both Frank (Hawkes) and Sean (Lerman) which makes us truly care about each of them as we gain a keen understanding of the baggage they carry. This is one of my favorite films of the year so far.