• R, 1 hr. 42 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Paul Weitz
    In Theaters:
    Mar 2, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jul 10, 2012
  • Focus Features

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Being Flynn Reviews

Page 1 of 14
Jose Z

Super Reviewer

April 24, 2013
Inspiring and touching. Great cast, excellent story
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2012
"First off, great cast. I really liked more then half of the actor's in this and I was really wanting to see this movie. The story is depressing. The father and son are very much alike. They are both writers, loners, and dependent on substances to help them deal with life. Things really start getting ugly when Jonathan starts staying at the homeless shelter his son, Nick works at. Nick is embarrassed of Jon and wants nothing to do with him and even pleads with him numerous of times to, please leave. But Jon seems to think since he created Nick he has a right to him. It's as dysfunctional as it gets in this father and son tale. I did enjoy the movie and the story being told. I really think Dano and De Niro did a fantastic job. All the acting was good. A solid film."
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2012
Based on his memoirs, this is the story of Nick Flynn- a burgeoning writer who is struggling to find his place in the world. His mother committed suicide, and he hasn't seen his wayward con of a father in 18 years. Nick takes a job at a homeless shelter to aid in his quest for meaning, and one day happens upon his father who becomes a quest at the shelter.

From there the film shifts its focus back and forth between Nick and his dad, both trying to live their lives.

It all sounds like this could have been a rather sentimental film, and, while there is a tad bit of that in there, it's mostly unglamorous, not very sentimental, and rather bittersweet and melancholy. and make something of themselves, and both struggling to deal with the past and their current realities and fractured relationship with one another.

It's also rather disjointed and unsure of itself at times. I applaud writer/director Paul Weitz for trying his hand at some mildly challenging material, but it feels like he never finds steady ground or confidence with this material all that often. He does have some major cojones for having his film start out with De Niro driving a taxi into the mean streets of NYC, though. As interesting as the character of Jonathan Flynn is, the movie is supposed ot be Nick's story, with Jonathan as a major supporter. When the film is solely focused on Nick, it's great, but when Jonathan becomes the main focus, the film isn't as good, and feels all over the place.

However, this is still a really good story, and it's a fascinating look into the world of homelessness. Some of the best material has to be when Nick explains the day to day operations of things at the shelter, and it very much reminded me of those moments from some of Scorsese's mob movies that detail the daily operations of the criminal underground. This film even has a decent amount of voiceover! Man, Weitz really does have a lot of guts!

Anyways, this film might be flawed, but it's still pretty good. What ultimately saves it are the performances. Dano is quite believable as the conflicted and lost Nick, and this is another example of how he is one of the best actors of his generation. Olivia Thirlby is also quite strong as Nick's 'love interest', a fellow employee at the shelter with a troubled past of her own. It was also nice seeing Wes Studi again, perhaps the first new film I've seen him in since perhaps the 90s maybe. Julianne Moore is also pretty good in her limited but important role as Nick's mom. And what about De Niro? Well, this is probably one of, if not the best performance of his is about a decade or so. He's great at conveying the delusions and frustrations of the angry, bitter, and unhinged Jonathan. He kinda goes off the deep end a bit much here and there, and this is far from a career best for him, but it's miles better than the bulk of what he's done recently.

All in all, I do recommend this. It's got its problems, and barely scrapes by, but it is entertaining, and has some great performances, so I think that's enough to warrant a watch.
Sam B

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2011
"Being Flynn" succeeds at making some very interesting observations about the burdensome relationship between parent and offspring, but for a film that deals with some very heavy subject matter (including drugs, homelessness, insanity, and dysfunctional families), it feels oddly weightless, fleeting, and ultimately a missed opportunity.
Mark W

Super Reviewer

August 25, 2012
I think it's fair to say that Robert DeNiro's film's over the last ten years or so have been pretty lacklustre. Regardless of this, I'm still that much of a fan that I will always venture into them anyway. If only, to see a glimmer of the great actor enjoying his work again. This might not be the return to form that I was looking for - at least in terms of end product - but it was in terms of his committed performance.
Nick Flynn (Paul Dano) is a young man in his 20's who hasn't yet found his vocation in life. He is a budding writer but can't quite decide if he's talented enough and the lack of confidence in his abilities stems from the harsh judgement of his estranged father Jonathan (Robert DeNiro) who considers himself a great writer destined for success one day. Just to fill his time, Nick takes a job at a homeless shelter in Boston, where his father - now down-and-out - makes an appearance and looking to become a resident. It opens up all sorts of wounds for Nick as he now has to face up to his own demons and their dysfunctional relationship.
The opening line of this film has DeNiro's character delivering a voiceover, informing us that "America has produced only three classic writers; Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger and me". The same could be said for DeNiro's acting abilities; he is considered one of America's classic actors and this is a welcome return to form from him. It's one of the best roles he has had in years and he really seems to be enjoying himself again, instead of just phoning in a performance. There are glimmers of the master here and although it's not quite up to his highest standards, he at least draws comparisons with his earlier iconic roles. With his vitriolic rants (as well as taxi driving) I couldn't help but envisage an older Travis Bickle or, more closely, an older and equally delusional Rupert Pupkin. Again, DeNiro delivers a finely balanced performance of a deeply flawed individual with delusions of grandeur. As good as he is though, the always reliable Paul Dano cannot be ignored either. This is the second time I've seen Dano play up against a masterful actor (the other being Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood") and come out looking very accomplished indeed. It's in the duality of these two characters that the film benefits from it's most original idea; having the double use of narration from them both. Each time either actor is onscreen they inform us of their take on life and the struggle that they have both faced in their estranged father/son relationship and how their lives will inevitably cross paths again. It's through this clever narrative device and two commanding performances that the film is elevated above the unsure handling of Paul Weitz' direction. The material is strong enough (based on Nick Flynn's actual memoirs) but Weitz struggles a little with it and seems unsure of how to balance the humour and the pathos. There are tragic moments that don't quite resonate as well as they should which could be a result of Weitz' past credentials mainly consisting of comedies. It's the actors that stand out here and in that respect Weitz at least deserves some credit in drawing two commanding deliveries as well as great use of music by "Badly Drawn Boy".
This is a good film but had the potential to be better had it landed in the hands of a more experienced director. However, DeNiro chews up the screen like he once did in his prime and for that reason alone, this should be seen by his fervent followers.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

July 4, 2012
We're All Works In Progress.

Not so bad but not so great either! Mediocre film for me. Being Flynn isn't an easy film to access, but will more than likely touch you in some way or form if you grew up with any sort of parental issues. With the expected strong performance from Paul Dano and the unexpected great performance from Robert De Niro, Being Flynn allows you to witness the troublesome times of an individual, destroy themselves because of it, and eventually rebuild themselves for the better. In a way, it's the most depressing self-help method to ever hit the screen, but that's what makes it so easy to relate to and unlike whatever you expected this film to be.

Based on a true story, 'Being Flynn' follows Nick Flynn (Paul Dano of 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'There Will Be Blood') who is shocked to have his eccentric and long-absent father, Jonathan (two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro) reach out to him unexpectedly. Still feeling the loss of his mother (played in flashbacks by four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore) in the midst of starting a new relationship with Denise ('Juno''s Olivia Thirlby), the last person Nick wants to see is his father. But you can't outrun fate and slowly Nick comes to realize he has been given the chance to make a real future not only for himself, but for his struggling father too.
Tracy K

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2012
Seems a tad pointless at times, but still a very watchable and quite interesting look at a difficult father-son relationship. There's no false sentimentalism here; Nick and Jonathan seem to have genuine problems liking each other at times, which offers a rather refreshing change and keeps this from meandering into typical schmaltzy family drama territory. Although we're left without a sense of having reached any particular destination and with a nagging suspicion that some baggage has been left unclaimed along the way, it's still a rather affecting film with an unsurprisingly solid performance by Robert DeNiro, who seems to be having rather a good time playing a largely unsympathetic crank.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2013
Nick Flynn(Paul Dano) has just moved in a with a couple of roommates at a former strip club when he gets a call from his bigoted father Jonathan(Robert De Niro) who he has not seen in 18 years. Basically, he just needs some help moving his stuff into storage. Otherwise, Nick's friend and sometimes lover Denise(Olivia Thirlby) persuades him to take a job at the homeless shelter where she works, thinking it will be good for him. Which it probably would be since he can work on his writing there, except his father's lodging situation has gone from precarious to even worse.

"Being Flynn" is a complex, thoughtful and literate dual character study of two difficult people, as one could infer that Jonathan had been in his share of homeless shelters before encountering Nick again. Basically, the movie's message is that to be a writer one has to be something of a liar but being delusional is not going to do anybody any good. It helps that Robert De Niro has a character he can sink his teeth into before he heads off to the ATM again while Paul Dano again proves that he is one of the best young actors around. And Olviia Thirlby makes good on some of her early promise. However, I think Paul Weitz is too lightweight a director to handle such heavy subjects like homelessness and mental illness, preferring instead to emphasize the humor and giving us an ending that is simply too pat.
SC007
SC007

Super Reviewer

March 9, 2013
The film was so so. I felt like I have seen this kind of film before and done better. It reminded me of movies like The Fisher King, the Saint of Fort Washington, and Where the Day Takes You. I thought those films were better than this one. I thought the film was a bit slow. I also didn't like the style of the film.

The performances are good here. However, I felt like I have seen De Niro, Dano, and Moore play these types of roles before in other films.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

February 5, 2013
I thought that Sam Flynn had already found his long-lost father, but hey, this film is, in oh so many other ways, not in the least what I would have expected from the third installment in the "TRON" series, so I guess I'll run with it. No, folks, we're not talking about Jeff Bridges' Kevin Flynn character, and we're darn sure not talking about Errol Flynn, so don't get too excited, because there are no swashbuckling adventures with lasercycle duels, something whose ever being expected in a film like this is completely beyond me, unless of course the people who are setting those hopes are listening to the people who would say that the only way this film could become less bland is if elements of "TRON" were to come into play from out of nowhere, and must mean business, seeing as how they may also say that this film is the only time in which you can call on "TRON: Legacy" as a supplement to a film's escape from blandness. Forget y'all, I like "TRON: Legacy", and I also like this film, even if it doesn't have all kind of cool techno combat mumbo-jumbo, regardless of what its title may - and I mean "may" - suggest. Hey, joking aside, I'll run with this film's final title, because it was either it or the original title of the Nick Flynn memoir upon which this film is based, which I'm not going to say for the sake of the chi-ren, but, needless to say, doesn't fully reflect Flynn's poetic classiness. Of course, if I can be totally honest, this film's source material's title does seem more fitting for a film you would expect from the co-director of "American Pie" whose last collaboration with Robert De Niro was "Meet the Fockers". Seriously though, the Weitz Brothers are pretty diverse filmmakers, though Chris seems to be more diverse than Paul, who doesn't appear to be as prepared for his big dramatic debut as he probably should be (Oh yes, and Chris Weitz completely knew what he was doing when he did "New Moon"). Don't get me wrong, this film is far from "Another Bul-I mean, this film is a decent one, but, much like its central father-son relationship, it's not without its issues.

As experienced as this film's director is in atmospheric fluffiness, I really was expecting to face quite a bit of slowness, and was relieved to find that the final product manages to keep generally reasonably lively, though not exactly thrilled, because entertaining as this film is, after a while, momentum does die down, leaving plotting to drag its feet a bit and throw off engagement value a touch. Slow spells are few and far between, yet they can be found after a while, and dilute compellingness a bit, though not as much as a flaw that is also limited in presence, but more prominent than I expected: subtlety lapses, which are rarely, if ever so immense that this film feels like a bad Hallmark melodrama, but when they do arrive, sometimes in the form of an overemphatic montage set to lame alternative soft rock, they cheese up resonance with superficiality that dilutes depth. Now, the film is rarely, if ever quite as dramatically effective as it could have been, but these lapses in subtlety, no matter how limited in quantity, particularly do a number on resonance, and yet, the detrimental effectiveness of the occasional lapse in subtlety and occasional lapse in liveliness all but pales in comparison to what seems to be this film's biggest issue, of all things, focal unevenness. The film doesn't run but about, say, fifteen minutes before it see the first meeting between between our father-son leads, yet those fifteen minutes feel like thirty as we exhaustingly jerk back and forth between the development segment of Paul Dano's Nick Flynn character and Robert De Niro's Jonathan Flynn character, and after our leads make their first confrontation, freneticism in focal jumps dies down a bit, though not enough, as the film still finds plenty of times to slip up in its juggling two main storylines, if not crowbarring in the occasional flashback to Nick Flynn's childhood, and such a formula gets to be disengagingly repetitious, or, at the very least, emphatic about how this film doesn't have enough time to explore its subject matter as thoroughly as it should. I'm not necessarily saying that this film deserves to be sprawling, but its subject matter does boast much in the way of potential depth and range, yet at a mere 102 minutes, the final execution of this worthy and layered story concept finds itself with only so much time to meditate upon its depth, but still plenty of time for you meditate upon how there's only so much delicacy put into, not necessarily story structure, but storytelling. Paul Weitz isn't entirely ready to take on subject matter with this much potential weight, thus he tones down the immensity of this subject matter's value, while making his share of storytelling hiccups to further distance resonance, until you ultimately end up with a film that could have been more. Still, what this film ultimately is is decent, with many a flaw, yet not enough to take away from your enjoyment in this film as, if nothing else, an entertaining effort with its share of nifty technical stylistic touches.

It's always strange to say that the fun factor in a film is augmented by strong editing, yet films that go particularly livened up by stylish editing are out there, and this film is one of them, not necessarily being as lively in its editing as something like last year's "Dirty Girl", but with quite a few slickly nifty points in story editing that can't fully cut out the focus issues of the film, but certainly add a degree of lively comfort to the tightness that this film boasts a bit too much of. Joan Sobel's editing isn't exactly extremely extraordinary, but it is more clever than I expected and colors things up, yet not quite as much as, well, Paul Weitz, at least as writer, for although Weitz's script is about as flawed as Weitz's direction, there are plenty of sharp moments in dialogue and humor, some of which get to be too sharp, to the point of feeling a touch too theatrical, though not to where you're not engaged enough by the wit within the punch-up to Weitz's sceenplay that supplement the final product's entertainment value. We're not looking at an Aaron Sorkin-level of punch-up with this film's script, but there is much liveliness within Weitz's dialogue and comic relief, as sure as there is liveliness within Weitz's characterization, which is, as I said throughout the better half of the last paragraph, much too flawed, not spending as much time as it should with flesh-out, and making things all the worse by presenting conceptually serious dramatic notes with only so much weight, but still doing an adequate job of associating you with scenarios and characters that feel audaciously realistic. Weitz digs into humanity about as much as he can when facing resistance by dramatic shortcomings, and that's just enough for you to get something of a reasonably tight grip on the value of this film's subject matter, which explores homelessness, mental instability, overambition, self-loathing, family distance and all sorts of other themes that define this drama as a human one. Before you people get too excited, allow me to once again emphasize that the many layers to this film's worthy subject matter are explored rather superficially, when not just plain messily mishandled, yet there's no denying that this film's depth, at least in its basic form, is worthy, especially when you go reminded of this fact by what is actually done right in Weitz script, a mess that remains colorful enough to sustain your interest adequately, and do so with considerable help from the performers who truly bring this film's depth to life about as much as they can. Sure, plenty of supporting players in this game do their part, but this is the Paul Dano's and Robert De Niro's show, which offers our talented pair of leads only so much material, largely due to the dramatic shortcomings that I keep going on and on about, but still enough to work with for you to invest yourself in our leads, with Dano portraying the self-loathing, unrealized artist who is in for plenty of life-defining experiences convincingly, and occasionally with a fair bit of emotional strength, while De Niro immediately wins you over with his convincing and charismatic portrayal of an overambitious deadbeat, before all-out stealing the show with a powerful portrayal of a delusional mess of a mentally, emotionally and socially unstable man, sold on you by De Niro's layered and gripping emotional range, which reminds you of why he has become the acting legend that he is. If Jonathan Flynn' layers, and, with them, De Niro's acting material more played up in the writing and directorial areas, you would be looking at a performance worthy of the shortlist under best supporting actor listings, yet as things stand, De Niro does a lot to power this film, and recieves help from Dano, and not just because our leads share an effective chemistry that deserves to be presented in a more strongly composed film, yet nevertheless stands as a factor behind this film's being decent, regardless of its unforuntate shortcomings.

To close the book, slow spells and lapses in subtlety hit the scene here and there, and dilute emotional resonance, though decidedly not as much as messy focal issues that stand as more consistent than they should be, thus creating a formula that is both repetitious and emphatic about how this film is too tight for its own good, to where not enough depth is explored to compensate for the other storytelling missteps that go into making this drama underwhelming, yet cannot battle back what is, in fact, done right with this film, which boasts editing that is almost as colorful as dialogue and comic relief that break up characterization that is lacking, but still human enough to earn enough of your investment - reinforced by a compelling performances by Paul Dano and show-stealing performances by Robert De Niro - to make "Being Flynn" an entertaining and generally reasonably engaging portrait on the instability within humans that still stands to be painted with more vividness.

2.5/5 - Fair
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2012
Being Flynn is an uneven but ultimately effective drama. At it's heart, it's an authentic (being based on a true story) tale of self-loathing and being alienated from ones' father, and one that strikes a good balance between being poignant, but not canned. At the same time, the nontraditional narrative aspects of the film, with the indie film techniques and editing style, sometimes make it feel indulgent and over-made. These flaws are outweighed by the powerhouse performance from DeNiro, which is certainly his best in recent memory. He gives his character a presence and a profound sense of tragedy that really serves to underscore the film's themes, themes that may not have been otherwise conveyed by the overwritten script. He is also matched well by a respectable supporting cast, with Paul Dano turning in some good work. Technical and direction flaws aside, a heartfelt drama with an especially good ending.


3.5/5 Stars
Ryan M
Ryan M

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2012
*** out of ****

One of my problems with most dramas and comedy films is the typically unimaginative plotting. I can't understand why a filmmaker wouldn't want to at least experiment and think outside the box; but maybe that's Hollywood for you. The most real and down-to-earth dramatic films these days are no doubt the independent offerings. These are films that give you a slice of life in its most uncompromising form (preferably). But I can't invest in an on-screen portrayal of reality unless the performances are "real". And that is where a lot of films that I've had the displeasure of sitting through fail rather miserably. And that's also where "Being Flynn", a drama that is slightly more mainstream than the films that it matches in quality, succeeds the most.

The story, which is about a man and his complicated relationship with his newly resurfaced father, is based on the memoir by Nick Flynn titled "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City", unread by me. Nick Flynn is portrayed by Paul Dano, maybe one of the only actors working today who could tackle this kind of role. The father, Jonathan Flynn, is played by Robert De Niro, who somehow seems to once again possess the kind of gritty integrity that he had when working with Scorsese and other talented directors back in his prime but appeared to have lost over the years (see "Little Fockers"). Jonathan was imprisoned for his conman-like activity when Nick was a kid, and he was left to be cared for by his mother (Julianne Moore), who killed herself not long after he had entered adulthood.

In her suicide note, Nick's mother did not mention Jonathan as a potential source for her sorrow. What we know is that she was stressed, worked two jobs, and had read one of Nick's early poems on the same day that she did the deed. In some ways, Nick blames himself; his father was apparently a writer, albeit one who had yet to publish a real work, and his mother told him never to follow in his footsteps. But he couldn't resist. And on similar grounds, he blames his father for abandoning him at such a young age and perhaps being the sole cause for his shitty childhood. You'd think it would give Nick a lot to write about, but on his own as an adult, he feels artistically and emotionally blocked.

He takes a job at a homeless shelter after being kicked out of his now ex-girlfriend's apartment. One day, Jonathan shows up; a sad, homeless drunkard. This troubles Nick, as he will eventually have to reach out to the father that he hasn't seen for 18 years prior; the father that he's grown up to resent. Every time he looks at his father, he sees a potential future version of himself. Nick has trouble coping and resorts to drugs and alcohol; a spitting image. He will have to try and conquer his internal and external demons. Obviously, it won't be easy.

The film, directed by Paul Weitz, is predictable and not necessarily atypical for its genre; but nonetheless is a fine showcase of genuine emotions and performances. I usually do not enjoy movies like this at all; but instead of making it its mission to be inspiring and upbeat, the film is mostly gritty, especially in its portrayal of Jonathan's life on the streets. The material is compelling and not all the raw emotion makes it to the screen, but these are some superb actors giving it their all, and a good portion of it manages to resonate, if not in the most mind-blowing way possible. There will always be movies like this being made, but the question is whether they'll continue to be made this well. The casting makes it what it is, otherwise it's a pretty average movie. But think about it. Dano and De Niro are both perfect; with the latter giving probably his best performance since "Meet the Parents". Olivia Thirlby is also fantastic as a girl who also works at the homeless shelter, providing a love interest for Nick and also an extra layer of vulnerability for his character.

I don't know everything about the real life Nick Flynn; aside from that he lived a life similar to the one we see on film, is married to actress Lili Taylor (who plays a supporting character, of course), and became a part-time teacher of poetry and writing at Columbia University for some time. But if I had to guess, I'd say he'd be pretty proud of "Being Flynn". It's a strong, engaging film that might hit closer to home with some (particularly anyone who has been through the same childhood traumas as the titular Flynn) than it did with me, but I'm still willing to admit that I liked it. It's worth seeing for the De Niro performance (and everyone else's), the scenes that are truly great (Nick's descent into depression and substance abuse is one of the finer turning points in my opinion), and the chance to see what appears to be a great mind put in action for cinema, but seen through different lenses.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

April 2, 2012
"Being Flynn" is a showcase of stellar performances from actors who continue to reset the height of the bar. Robert De Niro steps outside of his normal range of emotions and proves that we haven't seen the last of his great performances. Paul Dano continues to impress, bringing a new essence to acting with his "passenger" demeanor and uncanny reactions to the world surrounding him. The material is never flat-out with emotions running deep in all characters, providing a rich and well-written dark drama.
Philip P

Super Reviewer

July 16, 2012
As stories about writers go, they are never as interesting as the stories they are actually putting to paper. This isn't especially true in "Being Flynn" as the story being written here in fact turns out to be a memoir, but it essentially has nothing to do with the writing. This movie is all about the relationships, the dynamics of family and how they effect the outcome of our lives. In a more simple state this is a father/son story about a father and son who don't really mean that much to one another. It is a brisk yet rather mopey affair that grows tiresome early on in the 90-minute running time. director Paul Weitz who probably has the oddest of filmography's ranging from "American Pie" to "About a Boy" and from "Little Fockers" to this he seems to have tried to backtrack to where he began his career and where he feels the most comfortable. Lucky for him, he has actors like DeNiro operating at high levels to bring the highly eccentric Jonathan Swift to life. A long absent father from his son Nick's (Paul Dano) life, Jonathan shows up at the homeless shelter where Nick is working one night and it brings a rush of angst, tough memories, and hate back to Nick. It is an engaging journey and Dano does an impressive job of channeling the emotions Nick is likely feeling but aren't necessarily told to the audience. The problem with "Being Flynn" though is not its aspirations to be a moving drama but that it instead feels like a labor of love that has not had a fresh set of eyes put to it. The arc of DeNiro's Jonathan is interesting, he as a man is weirdly charismatic despite his unearned arrogance. If only they had made a film about the novel he claims to be writing throughout the film, that would have been something to behold, I'm sure.
September 2, 2013
As a film it might not say anything new, but being a true story elevates it into something else. A very personal story comes through perfectly. Great acting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
September 21, 2012
This is one of those films you know next-to-nothing about but ends up packing a major emotional punch. I am sure some of the credit can be given to the source material; but it has become an effective film because of its director, Paul Weitz (About a Boy, In Good Company, American Dreamz). It is the story of floudering writer Nick Flynn whose relationships are all-kinds-of-messed-up until he begins working in a Boston homeless shelter where he meets Denise (Olivia Thirlby - Juno, United 93, The Wackness). He has an estranged relationship with his father (Robert De Niro - The Godfather, Heat, Casino) who is a self-proclaimed literary national treasure (who claims to be superior to F. Scott Fitzgerald ... ahem) and who left his mother (mysteriously) many, many, many years ago (she is played by Julianne Moore - Boogie Nights, End of the Affair, Children of Men). One night at the shelter Nick is surprised to come face-to-face with his father ... and the movie falls into place. It is about Nick coming to terms with his father and his life and about his father coming to terms with reality. I found this to be surprisingly absorbing. It might not be the best film out there; but I found it to be a movie I came to appreciate.
August 11, 2012
While "Being Flynn" didn't turn out to be the life-changing film that I had hoped for, its realistic approach to the homeless and life in general deserves attention. The trailer led me to believe that this film would be a heartwarming reconnection between a son and his long-lost father, but it was anything but heartwarming with such a gritty, relentlessly depressing storyline. If this was a work of fiction, the writers likely would have changed a lot to appeal to theater-goers... but that is the amazing thing. The real-life Nick Flynn was on set to guarentee an accurate recreation of the events in his life. Even though it is a downer, this true story is an inspiring reminder that, even when you are at your lowest point and think that there is no hope, you can turn your life around and succeed. It is hard to believe that Flynn actually endured these events and I am glad that his story is being told. It isn't the greatest film in the world but Robert DeNiro makes this a must-see. His depiction of the eccentric Jonathan Flynn is outstanding and may be his best performance since "Awakenings." The anger, disillusionment, and complete disregard for others that DeNiro brings to this character make you despise him and cheer for him at the same time. He just creates so many incredible memorable movie moments like sleeping outside of the library, yelling in the middle of the night, or simply every line about being a classic writer. He is so good that you simply won't notice any of the other actors. Paul Dano has a nice emotional performance and Olivia Thirlby's sweet smile is about the only relief that you get from the madness, but all pale in comparison to DeNiro's Oscar-worthy performance.
July 19, 2012
A rather unusual Robert de Niro movie, I say. A tad reminiscent of "Everybody's Fine", with a touch of Bostonian poverty.
May 7, 2012
A writer dealing addiction meets his estranged, drunken and delusional father at the homeless shelter he volunteers for.That's the premise of Being Flynn, an uneven but emotionally hard hitting film from writer-director Paul Weitz.

Taken from Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, Being Flynn is saturated in deep sadness. The excellent Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) is Nick, a struggling writer, poet and playwright drifting through his twenties and then takes a job working at a New York City shelter where his girlfriend, Denise, works (lovely Olivia Thirlby). When he sees his father, Jonathan (Robert De Niro) he's floored. Jonathan too is a writer, one who thinks he's on the same level as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger and talks constantly of his opus Memoirs of a Moron, and also reveals truths about Nick's childhood and his mother (Julianne Moore) who has her own troubles.

The film plays as an emotional face off between the father and son, with narration provided by Nick who hopes to better understand his troubled father. Dano displays amazing subtlety and nuance, a perfect foil to De Niro's often flamboyant performance. Weitz first directed De Niro in Little Fockers, but here he employs the actor's too often forgotten skills, one that recalls his emotionally charged performance in Awakenings. It's a marvelous performance from an old master.
April 10, 2012
De Niro knocks it out the part with this one, his acting chops back to their old, youthful form! Dano really shows some range here and carries the film with relative ease. My movie of the year so far. Get to CAMELVIEW to check this out!
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