Away We Go

Away We Go

4.3 11
Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Daniels

     
 

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When slacker thirtysomething couple Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) discover that his parents are moving overseas, the duo -- who expect their first child in a few months -- set off on a cross-country tour to figure out where they should lay down some roots in SamSee more details below

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Overview

When slacker thirtysomething couple Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) discover that his parents are moving overseas, the duo -- who expect their first child in a few months -- set off on a cross-country tour to figure out where they should lay down some roots in Sam Mendes' poignant comedy Away We Go. They visit a number of different cities, and meet with a different friend or family member's family at each stop. Their hosts include a set of emotionally detached parents (Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan), a pair of overprotective new-age parents (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Josh Hamilton), and old college pals (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey), who have adopted a number of kids. Novelist Dave Eggers wrote the script with Vendela Vida.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Dave Eggers became a literary superstar with his Pulitzer Prize-nominated memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a bittersweet story detailing the ups and downs of raising his younger brother after their parents died. With his wife, Eggers co-wrote the script for Away We Go, and, like his most successful book, the movie delivers a powerful emotional experience, all while pulling at your heartstrings -- and making you laugh -- in a very low-key style. The movie stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as Burt and Verona, an unmarried but deeply committed couple expecting their first child. When Burt's parents -- who they were relying on for help with the baby -- decide to move overseas, the expectant parents realize with some relief that they can now live wherever they want. So they decide to travel the country, visiting family and friends in different cities, in order to find a place that satisfies both their practical needs and their bohemian spirits. Despite the premise, this movie isn't a travelogue. Sure, our protagonists visit Tuscan, Montreal, and Phoenix, but director Sam Mendes and company are more interested in exploring emotional landscapes than physical ones. With each stop on their trip, our heroes see how their hosts -- models of hilariously bad parenting -- grapple with the overwhelming responsibilities of family life. These uproarious visits leave the expectant couple with a clearer understanding of how they don't want to raise their child. But even when Burt and Verona finally discover worthy parenting role models, they learn it won't be all smiles and jokes -- a lesson driven home when they go to see old friends in Montreal who have adopted a bunch of kids. Tom and Munch (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey) have built a happy, functional, and loving family environment, but when the four adults head out for a night of dinner and dancing, Burt and Verona learn how much pain sits just under the surface of their friends' seeming contentment. Mendes unveils the depth of that pain in a heartbreaking scene where the foursome ends up at a sort-of pseudo-karaoke bar where people get up on-stage and dance to the song of their choice. As Tom tells Burt a devastating story about Munch's inability to conceive, she performs a slow solo dance set exquisitely (by music supervisor Randall Poster) to the Velvet Underground's haunting, little-known "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'." If you were in that bar and had no idea who this woman was, you might find her swaying movements kind of alluring, but we know it's an expression of sadness. The entire Montreal sequence certainly benefits from some incredibly moving writing and acting, but it's the cinematic poetry -- the combination of words and images and music -- that delivers an emotional wallop. It's the first time you realize how deeply the film gets under your skin. Like Juno or Little Miss Sunshine, Away We Go is a small film, the kind of gem that's easy to crush with hype or overpraise. But, the fact is that few movies deal with feelings this profound with as much restraint as Mendes and his crew display here. Everything about the movie -- from Ellen Kuras' beautiful, understated cinematography to the subtle, engrossing lead performances by Krasinski and Rudolph -- is designed to sneak up on you emotionally, leaving you deeply touched, even though you'll never see it coming. And that's a good thing: it makes the film get better and better as it goes along, and continue improving the more you think about it.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/29/2009
UPC:
0025195050135
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
R
Source:
Focus Features
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
21,768

Special Features

The making of Away We Go - Go behind the scenes and see how the film developed from casting to final cut; Green Filmmaking - From carbon offsets to hybrid transporation, discover the creative steps taken to make the production more environmentally firendly; Feature commentary with director Sam Mendes and writers Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Krasinski Burt
Maya Rudolph Verona
Jeff Daniels Jerry
Maggie Gyllenhaal LN
Allison Janney Lily
Catherine O'Hara Gloria
Carmen Ejogo Grace
Jim Gaffigan Lowell
Melanie Lynskey Munch
Chris Messina Tom
Kevin J. O'Connor Actor
Paul Schneider Courtney
Josh Hamilton Roderick
Samantha Pryor Ashley

Technical Credits
Sam Mendes Director
John Dunn Costumes/Costume Designer
Dave Eggers Screenwriter
Sarah Flack Editor
Jess Gonchor Production Designer
Pippa Harris Executive Producer
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Alexi Murdoch Score Composer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Peter Saraf Producer
Edward Saxon Producer
Marc Turtletaub Producer
Vendela Vida Screenwriter
Mari Jo Winkler-Ioffreda Executive Producer
Debra Zane Casting

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Away We Go
1. With Child [5:38]
2. What's Expected [5:16]
3. Exciting News [3:24]
4. The Basics [4:29]
5. White Noise [5:02]
6. Social Standards [3:05]
7. Can't Wait [2:44]
8. Got Lucky [5:01]
9. Great Moms [6:45]
10. Without Stroller [4:17]
11. Continuum Home [5:37]
12. Parental Advice [5:26]
13. A Real Family [:41]
14. The Glue [4:18]
15. Amateur Night [4:29]
16. Single Parenting [4:03]
17. I Promise [5:14]
18. Awakening [5:55]
19. Home [3:19]
20. End Titles [5:06]

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