A mosaic of stories about love and loss, ‘Nostalgia’ explores our relationships to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives.
Director: Mark Pellington
Writers: Mark Pellington (story by), Alex Ross Perry (story by)
Stars: Bruce Dern, Jon Hamm, Amber Tamblyn, Hugo Armstrong, Shinelle Azoroh, Annalise Basso
Closed Captions and Descriptive Narration Available.
This dreamy, languid drama drifts appealingly from character to character, somehow finding profound emotional weight and layers in the relationships between people and their belongings. Written by the talented Alex Ross Perry (The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip) and directed by former music video maker Mark Pellington, Nostalgia is a fine combination of visuals and content that benefits from asking its very unusual question: What do the things that people leave behind mean? And why do some things mean more than others? How are memories connected? What happens when someone’s memories are impermanent?
The great cast helps things along, although the movie is a little uneven. At first, it looks as if Ortiz’ insurance man might be a great connective device, something of an angel who helps all the characters in the film; but even though he’s quite likable, he disappears early. Some characters get a lot of screen time, while other talented actors — like James LeGros and Patton Oswalt — only appear briefly, even though they’re all introduced with the same weight. Moreover, the movie sometimes detours off course in an effort to emotionally preload its themes. Nostalgia could have been more balanced, but it could not be more delicate. It’s ultimately a moving, lovely effort.
– Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media