Right on the heels of Nebraska, Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte turns in a memorable, subdued performance in Steph Green's feature debut, Run & Jump. Forte stars as Ted Fielding, an American neuropsychologist in Ireland as part of a research project. His focus is Conor, a 30-something husband and father whose recent stroke has left him in full emotional and mental retreat, and has left his wife, vibrant redhead Vanetia (the excellent Maxine Peake), to manage the household. As the doctor observes and then slowly begins to interact with the couple and those around them, his own isolation becomes as obvious as that of his subject. Hidden behind a beard, glasses and, initially, a handheld videocamera, Forte is a minor revelation—think shades of Steve Carrell in Little Miss Sunshine—in this quietly affecting story of loss and change. Director and co-writer Green has a way with nuance, and Conor's carpentry serves as symbolism that’s powerful but not ham-fisted. The unforced visual aesthetic verges on painterly, the sun-dappled flashbacks contrasting with ultra-vibrant scenes set in the present. Run & Jump approaches its various "case studies" with equal parts humor and romance, sorrow and warmth.
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- Release Date: Monday, February 3, 2014
- Critic's Score: B
- Watch the trailer