This is a film about film. More accurately, it’s a film that was inspired by a 2010 mass pilgrimage of photographers from all over the globe to a processing lab in Kansas which was about to close its doors as the last place anywhere that could develop Kodak’s Kodachrome film.
Ben Ryder (Ed Harris) is a famous photographer and negligent father who discovers he has several rolls of undeveloped Kodachrome film at roughly the same time he discovers he has incurable cancer. This is the impetus for the road journey that ensues. Ben’s unflappable assistant, Zooey (Elizabeth Olsen) contacts Ben’s long estranged son, Matt (Jason Sudeikis), a record executive, imploring him to let go of the past and help drive his father to Kansas.
That it’s not a unique plot wouldn’t matter if the characters and plot points weren’t also a little hackneyed.
Ben is too bad to be true. Matt’s gamut of emotion revolves around reaction and he seems to have no agency. Zooey is mostly incidental to the plot, which is a shame because she could have added some breadth. Despite the negatives, the performances are strong and it’s pleasant enough if you don’t mind non-surprises.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich