Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke in Buddy Comedy – The Hollywood Reporter


Watching Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke in Raymond and Rayso comfortably and authentically playing against each other like a pair of half-brothers who have been emotionally disrupted by their late father, it’s nearly impossible to believe they’ve never worked together before, let alone that ‘they are not related in one way or another.

They have Rodrigo Garcia to thank for the introduction, and they in turn gave credit to the filmmaker known for his complex portrayals of women in movies like nine lives and Albert Nobs with a winning dive into contemporary masculinity and all its quirks, as tenderly observed as it is funny to laugh at. Viewers should find something to enjoy, not to mention identify with, when Apple’s original film, which debuted at TIFF, arrives October 21 on the streamer as well as in select theaters.

Raymond and Ray

The essential

A poignant and entertaining tragicomedy.

Venue: Toronto International Film Festival (gala presentations)
Release date: Friday, October 21 (Apple TV+)
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Ewan McGregor, Maribel Verdu, Vondie Curtis Hall, Sophie Okonedo
Director-screenwriter: Rodrigo Garcia

Rated R, 1 hour 46 minutes

The Sins of the Father manifests easily in the damaged estates of Raymond of McGregor and Ray of Hawke (they were both actually named Raymond by their abusive father, Harris, in order to toy with them), who reunite after a long period of separation to attend their funeral of the old man.

In some ways the Oscar of Felix to Ray, Raymond has a cautious, devoted, and buttoned-up reserve that barely contains the frustration and sense of failure that bubbles to the surface after two divorces and a separation. Melancholic Ray, meanwhile, a recovering heroin addict and failed trumpeter whose bad-boy vulnerability is catnip to virtually every woman he meets, manages to put aside the initial squabbles and find ground for success. understanding in their shared desire to see their father buried below, which would hopefully give them some much-needed closure.

But when they arrive at the funeral home, they begin to realize that the person they thought they knew was seen as a remarkable man by others, especially the fiery Lucia (played to irresistible perfection by Spaniard Maribel Verdu), who was their father’s last adventure, and mother of the little brother they didn’t know they had. Still more siblings emerge from the woodwork of the cemetery, where Harris’ dying wish was for his sons to dig his grave (among other bizarre stipulations) and where things unsurprisingly reach a fun and absurd climax, before setting the stage for necessary healing. .

Paying homage, in part, to old-school buddy movies of the 70s, the well-calibrated, life-reflecting tragi-comic tapestry of an unhurried script and direction allows the performances to breathe. In addition to McGregor, Hawke (who also gets the chance to show off the trumpet-playing skills he picked up playing Chet Baker in born to be blue), and the vivacious Verdu, the rest of the ensemble – including a soulful Sophie Okonedo as their father’s former nurse and Vondie Curtis Hall as his perplexed “spirit guide”, the Reverend Red West – each have their time to shine.

There is an overriding naturalism in the Richmond, Va. production locations, richly captured by cinematographer Igor Jadue-Lillo, while composer Jeff Beal accentuates the melancholy with a moody jazz trumpet score.

While the film struggles a bit to come up with an equally fluid exit strategy, attempting to provide Raymond and Ray with a potential second act through Verdu and Okonedo, respectively, Garcia’s final examination of the human condition nonetheless succeeds more. that manages to put the fun back into dysfunctional.

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