Review: More bleak comedy than black, ‘The Estate’ is not worth your time (or Toni Collette’s)
‘The Estate’ was a hit when it opened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and was nominated for the Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama series. It has since been nominated for a slew of awards and became one of the most acclaimed films of the year.
But I can’t help feeling that, in the long run, it might just be a waste of Collette’s talents. After all, while Collette has a decent career behind her, her success is the result of a few very lucky breaks, not one of them involving great writing or a strong, unassuming performance. It doesn’t seem right that a talented, very gifted woman, who wrote and directed her first feature without any professional experience, gets to have this much success as a result of a very good career choice that might actually have been a bad one. I like Collette very much, but my opinion of what she has done is likely to be very different from that of most people.
Director Tom McCarthy’s second feature, ‘The Estate’, is a deeply depressing and utterly bleak film, one that would have been better if it were just less depressing. That’s the opinion that I tend to have, but I thought I would change my mind after seeing’The Estate’ in the TIFF festival.
Alicia (Collette), a well-off young woman returning from California to Montreal after a family vacation, has just received a call that her boyfriend of almost seven years, Ryan (John Gallagher Jr.), has been involved in a car accident. She flies into Montreal just as Ryan is being rushed into the hospital. He has suffered massive internal injuries, and while Alicia tries to come to terms with the situation, Ryan is being treated for an infection and is very weak. She is forced to make a quick decision: can she take Ryan home?
After being in an isolated area with the kids, Alicia