All Is Bright (2013)
Critic Consensus: Well-acted but uneven, All Is Bright strands a pair of strong performances from Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd in a meandering script.
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Critic Reviews for All Is Bright
You might think you can see where Almost Christmas is heading but it never quite loses its acerbic edge or goes emotionally blooey.
This engaging if somewhat underwhelming tale of unlikely redemption builds a funny-sad web of intersecting interactions around its strong central perfs.
The film is happy to observe wryly as boredom and failure threaten to overwhelm the men.
The film has an accomplished mood of cantankerous despair, but it's still little more than downbeat fluff.
I wish I could give four stars to Giamatti's big, sad eyes and outrageous Civil War beard.
Audience Reviews for All Is Bright
In "All Is Bright," Dennis(Paul Giamatti) is glad to be out of prison. And then not so much when he finds out that his ex-wife told their daughter that he is dead. In the meantime, he needs to eat which means a job which is not easy in the currently difficult economy. His friend Rene(Paul Rudd) has a business selling Christmas trees but already has somebody to help him. That changes when Dennis persuades him to let him go. "All Is Bright" starts off great and ends with a beautiful scene. It also explains where all those ubiquitous Christmas tree salesmen in New York City come from every year. Sadly, in between, it is pretty much a slow moving trainwreck that even Paul Giamatti and a Russian accented Sally Hawkins(don't ask) can do little with.
The film was a big disappointment. From the trailer I was expecting it to be something like Bad Santa. But that is not the case here. The problem with the film is that it doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or drama. The tone is off. The pacing is also off. Some scenes are too slow. They needed more humor here. Giamatti, Rudd, and Hawkins are good in the film, but they need a better script than this one.
All is busted. All is broke. All is bitter. All is BRIGHT. Just an Okay movie, don't expect too much! I must say for a comedy starring Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti, then "All Is Bright" was somewhat of a disappointment if you look at the movie from a comedy aspect. Now, as much as the story is without comedy that will make you laugh, then the movie is equally stacked well acted by the lead actors, and they really carried the movie quite nicely. The downside for me was... the plot, the weak connections drawn, the lack of explanation for certain tasks throughout the film, and the simple conclusion at the end. I wouldn't say the film is disappointing, but it doesn't have anything to make it stand out, very similar to Prince Avalanche, as it could've been something much better, had there been a deeper storyline developed, as well as adequate attention paid to detail. Two French Canadian ne'er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this fresh buddy comedy co-starring Sally Hawkins, by the director of the indie breakout hit Junebug.