Showing Up

Runtime : 108 mins

Genre : Comedy Drama

Vote Rating : 5.7/10

Revenue : 708.9 thousand $ USD


Movie Website


Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : In the days leading up to a possibly career-changing exhibition, a sculptor navigates her relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.

Cast Members

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Reviews

When I come across a film that’s the cinematic equivalent of witnessing the emperor’s nakedness, I feel compelled to shout it from the rooftops, something I would readily do with regard to this latest comedy-drama from director Kelly Reichardt. This plodding, insular, minimalist, frequently inscrutable offering tells the “story” (if it can even be called that) of a Portland ceramic sculpture artist (Michelle Williams) struggling to create her works for an upcoming gallery show when faced with the distracting burdens of mundane domestic crises and incendiary but largely unexplained family issues. However, little happens here, and the narrative is more of a showcase for the movie’s artwork than a vehicle with a definable plot, a problem further enhanced by a lack of any meaningful back story and solid character development (I guess that what they mean by “nuanced”). Indeed, one can tell when a release like this is truly in trouble when its most interesting and best defined characters are a housecat and an injured pigeon. The picture’s feeble attempts at humor nearly always fall flat, too, most of which are drier than dust (there’s subtle and then there’s inconsequential). It really troubles me when I see a seriously undercooked production like this undeservedly becoming widely acclaimed with over-inflated accolades. I’ve found this also to be the case with many of this filmmaker’s other works, but “Showing Up” represents a new low in her filmography. Not even the award-winning ensemble cast, with the likes of Williams, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, Amanda Plummer and Maryann Plunkett – the picture’s only noteworthy asset – can save this one from its own inherent failings. Experimental cinema is one thing, but unfocused, pointless, stream of consciousness filmmaking is something else entirely.

Try as I might,I just don't get Michelle Williams' style of rather moody and laconic delivery. She just always underwhelms me, and here is no different. This time she is "Lizzy" whose cat has an altercation with a pigeon which she chucks out of the door only for it to be rescued by her neighbour/landlord "Jo" (Hong Chau). Now she seems much more concerned about this rat with wings than she does with her lodger's frustrating lack of hot water. Anyway, pretty soon the pair are sharing the task of helping it recover the use of it's wing whilst "Lizzy" gets to grips with a forthcoming exhibition of her sculptures. That's the first ten minutes, thereafter we head down a more familiar dramatic route with a bit of a (quite entertaining) disaster then some family baggage to be dealt with along the way. For me, the undoubted star of this overlong and slightly repetitive story is the bird. It appears much more savvy of the unfolding narrative and appreciative of the path it was going to undoubtedly take than either of the lead actors. It's decently put together this, but the whole thing seems to lack much point or purpose. It suffers from a distinct lack of realism or relevance and though it's never boring, it is pretty humourless and has little memorable enough to merit recommending a cinema viewing.

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