For Ellen review

A struggling musician fights for custody of his young daughter

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Paul Dano sports a goatee, black nails and rock-star tattoos as struggling musician Joby fighting for custody of his young daughter.

Yet he’s as much of a screw-up as ever in this glacially paced indie from Treeless Mountain director So Yong Kim, a Sundance special whose muted emotions take a while to access.

Jon Heder’s turn as the small-town brief handling Dano’s divorce adds gentle humour to the slow-burning preamble.

Yet poignancy is reserved for Joby’s eventual meeting with Ellen (Shaylena Mandigo), a liaison so raw and true it points up the ponderous inertia of the rest.

More info

Available platformsMovie
Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.