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...and the merits of an absolutely blank one dimensional mother miscast as Toni Colette. They needed someone more background than this tuff gal...or rewritten her as slightly more edgy. She did not fit into the cast of extremity that was this film at best and at worst her character was downright sappy. The father starts and dresses and seems destined to be a stereotypical loser - American style. Somewhere in the edit the transition of his character from being an arsehole, goal-centred and neglectful father to an actioned, supportive, go getting, rule breaking punk that anyone would love to have as a dad - has been lost. The scene where this happens?????
Tho his heroin smoking dad too also seems to have an unsubstantiated psychological breakthrough as a truly wonderful being ???!! Maybe then its hereditary :/
The son - ummmm - LOVE Paul Dano and he does his best with the character tho perhaps the wishfully thinking directors believe that a stroppy teenager will just drop his hormonal nastiness at a few well chosen words/actions from family and situation. Tricky to believe ...however all in all if you can suspend psychological development of character ...an enjoyable film. Kid is flawless ...tho dread her future as child actress :)