Monday, August 8, 2011

The Music Never Stopped

Now available on DVD, J.K. Simmons and Cara Seymour star in this family drama as parents in the 1980's who haven't seen their son, played by Lou Taylor Pucci, in 20 years when he left home after an argument.  But now their son has reappeared with a brain tumor and no short term memory, and they struggle to make a connection with him.  With help from a therapist, played by Julia Ormond, they learn that the music he loved when he was younger temporarily brings him out of his nearly catatonic state. 

It's not surprising this film is very reminiscent of 'Awakenings' from 1990 starring Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, since they were both written by the same man, Oliver Sacks.  And while it's not as powerful as that film, it does ultimately hit home emotionally.  Lou Taylor Pucci delivers a fine understated performance as a person trapped inside himself, but it's really J.K. Simmons who steals the show, as he always does.  (Seriously, is there a better and more consistent actor?  How has he not even been nominated for either an Oscar or an Emmy?)  So, while this film takes a while to hit its stride, it does ultimately get there, and if you're a fan of emotional dramas, J.K. Simmons, or bands of the 60's and 70's like The Grateful Dead, you shouldn't miss it.

Grade: B+

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