For Ellen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

For Ellen Reviews

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September 24, 2016
Paul Dano gives his usual good performance, but the film itself is rather slow-moving.
½ December 19, 2015
another movie about divorce American style very slow but Dano carries it along.
½ October 31, 2015
Pretty good movie. While the plot is kind of tired and overdone, what drives the movie is its solid performances, especially Dano. He carries the movie with such strength and emotion, it's incredible.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2015
Touching yet sad story of a dad trying to do right by his daughter. The film draws alot from Just pure emotion. You have to pay attention as there is not much dialogue.
July 20, 2015
This is a weak movie
½ February 14, 2015
A sparse character piece that never really lets us in to the characters. It just studies a few moments in Joby's life with a very detached hands-off approach and keeps us guessing through the end credits if we'll find out what makes him tick. We never do.
½ July 20, 2014
This is some of the best work I've seen Paul Dano do. He was really interesting to watch. What works for this movie as a whole is its simplicity. Yeah, it's a story we've seen before, but it was done really well. Also, we are used to seeing absentee father type stories from the child's point of view. This time, it's from the father's. One of the most heartbreaking parts of the whole thing is when Ellen (played by the adorable Shaylena Mandigo) point blank asks him why he's never visited her. And then watching Dano's character try to explain it was so sad. Sometimes, simplicity is key.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2014
"For Ellen" starts with Joby(Paul Dano), a musician, driving into a snow bank when he eats and drives one morning. He is in the middle of nowhere to finalize the divorce with his estranged wife Claire(Margarita Levieva) but then balks at the fine print. At least, in the meantime, he gets an invitation for home cooked lasagna.

Ever since the invention of drama, it has been debated whether or not there could be an excellent performance in a lackluster play or movie. Well, I would like to submit the dramatically uneven "For Ellen" as exhibit A. Again, Paul Dano proves he is one of the best actors of his generation, fully embodying his character. But sadly, Joby is the only show here, as the camera cannot leave him alone for a minute, unlike other characters, thus not allowing for any meaningful perspective on the situation. For example, I would have especially liked to have seen events also from Claire's point of view. That's not to mention a perplexing ending which only serves to muddle the movie's message.
March 28, 2014
Beautiful and well-acted but way too inert to be good cinema.
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2014
This film strikes out. I felt like I had seen this type of film before and done better (example: Somewhere). The majority of the cast in my opinion are miscast. The only one that shines is Shaylena Mandigo playing little Ellen. She steals the film. The cinematography and editing are terrible here. The pacing is off. Some scenes are too slow.
January 6, 2014
It is the sensitively crafted, difficult struggle of father and daughter to connect, that forms the tender and awkward anchor of this tale. And that is the real romance here, a delicately nuanced unusual love story that is the heart of this movie. I say RENT IT!!!
November 20, 2013
I watched this film primarily because of Paul Dano, and he gave a very good one here, very emotive and yet restrained. His scenes with his 6 year old daughter are wonderful in that regard? However, the ending didn't make a lot of sense--he was just repeating past mistakes.
October 19, 2013
Very true realistic and heart touching story.
September 19, 2013
Slow But Interesting.
½ August 9, 2013
Just an ordinary story. The sort of film students watch.
½ August 3, 2013
Paul Dano's solo. But even he couldn't help this pale film much.
½ July 8, 2013
Didn't expect Paul Dano to handle such a role so well. Emotionally powerful.
½ June 26, 2013
Sparse, intimate art-house fare which is all about the central performance from Paul Dano. The photography is beautiful, but the deadbeat story is hard to warm to.
½ June 19, 2013
Ah! This is what I was looking for many days. A slow underrated indie film which is more successful in showing human emotions than many mainstream films,

Paul Dano plays the main lead and mostly captures the screen in every scene of the film. He is a struggling rockstar who's personal life is going through crises as he is in between a divorce which he never wanted and a daughter who he hasn't seen for years.

For Ellen is a sad film which covers a very short period of time. It revolves around 3-4 characters, which never have a strong conversation but still the film is very moving. Dano has played a very different role in this, and he completely owned it.

Not the greatest of the films, but still a must watch for indie drama lovers. A great watch.
½ June 2, 2013
Completely unassuming and as beautifully portrayed as "normal" can be. Very well acted.
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