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film review

Christopher Plummer as Jack and Vera Farmiga as Laura in Boundaries.Sony Pictures Classics

  • Boundaries
  • Written and directed by: Shana Feste
  • Starring: Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer
  • Classification: 14A
  • 104 minutes


2 out of 4 stars

Shana Feste’s Boundaries ends in a tiny apartment where two sisters put on funny costumes and dance joyfully for their family. This supposedly impromptu moment seems both improbable and forced. On the other hand, a dinner-table scene with an aging hippie and his handicapped son feels utterly real.

Filled with lovable eccentrics, Boundaries tries too hard to avoid the commonplace as its jolts erratically down the well-travelled, heavily signposted route that is the big-hearted road-movie.

Vera Farmiga plays Laura, a neurotic single mom whose house is full of stray dogs and whose teenage son (Lewis MacDougall) likes to draw everyone he meets as an imaginary nude. In a contrived plot, she is forced to drive from Portland to Los Angeles with her estranged father Jack (Christopher Plummer) after he’s kicked out of a nursing home for dealing drugs. Unbeknownst to his daughter, Jack still has a large stash he needs to sell along the way – and is getting his grandson to help him. All three performances find much warmth and charm in the kooky characters, but the whole is unbalanced.