HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Honest Characters, Stellar Performances Carry ‘This is Martin Bonner’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Having recently had its Windy City premiere at the 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival after winning a major award at Sundance, Chad Hartigan’s “This is Martin Bonner” is a character drama that could be read as a commentary on the intangible things we can do for the needy beyond financial help, job-finding, or religious guidance but also works purely as a simple tale of two men who form a unique, unexpected friendship. It’s a very low-key, slowly paced piece that has a cumulative power through its honesty and realism. So much so that by the time it climaxes in a scene at a diner, I couldn’t have been more riveted to the screen and it was purely through the truth of the performances. There may not be much story here but there’s so much more character than we’re used to seeing that one doesn’t care.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Martin Bonner (Paul Eenhoorn) is a former business manager for a church who now finds himself working for a company that guides convicts through their final months behind bars and first ones outside of the joint. In the opening scene, he gets into something of a verbal confrontation with a potential “client,” a man to whom he gives the pitch about work training and the minimum wage that comes with it only to be asked what Bonner really brings to the table. Minimum wage at a crappy job? That’s all you got? In some ways, the plot of “This is Martin Bonner” comes from that discussion in that it’s about the kind of support and understanding that we can bring to people that’s not so easily quantifiable.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “This is Martin Bonner” in our reviews section.

Bonner is a kind, simple man, who has found himself in a new town in Nevada (where no one was born and raised; only moved there). He speaks regularly to his daughter on the phone and leaves messages for a harder-to-reach son. His daughter has signed him up for online dating, to which he reluctantly submits with a sly grin on his face from the knowledge that she’s really just trying to make him happy. He has barely unpacked, makes simple meals in his tiny apartment, and doesn’t seem to have much friends. He’s not unlike an ex-con trying to start a new life — which is why I think he takes to Travis Holloway (Richmond Arquette), one of Bonner’s colleague’s clients who finds an easier connection with Bonner than his assigned “sponsor,” Steve Helms (Robert Longstreet).

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “This is Martin Bonner” review.

“This is Martin Bonner” stars Paul Eenhorn and Richmond Arquette. It was written and directed by Chad Hartigan. It played at the 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival.

This is Martin Bonner
This is Martin Bonner
Photo credit: Monterey Media

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker