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DVD Review: Boundaries

October 23, 2018

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Loosely based on her own life and family, writer-director Shana Feste assembles a stacked cast of familiar faces in Boundaries to tell the story of a single mother Laura (Vera Farmiga) and her socially awkward son Henry (Lewis MacDougall), who end up on a road trip with her estranged father Jack (Christopher Plummer) after he gets kicked out of his retirement home.

With the car packed full of rescue dogs, they are heading from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California so he can live with his other daughter (Kristen Schaal). But along the way, Jack enlists his grandson to help him sell off the stash of marijuana that he has hidden in adult diapers in the trunk of his car, in order to get money to pay for his private school.

This is the sort of indie film that can be overly quirky for quirky’s sake, and it sometimes feels a bit tonally off because of it, not always nailing the tricky balance between comedy and drama. But Boundaries is kept moving along thanks to the best efforts of its cast. Farmiga does fine work in the leading role as a stressed out single mother who has spent years trying to push her father away out of fear that he will reject her again, only to find herself being pulled back in to his orbit, and Plummer is a delight to watch as the old man.

The ensemble is rounded out by appearances from Bobby Cannavale as Laura’s ex-husband, as well as screen legends Christopher Lloyd and Peter Fonda as two of Jack’s old friends that they encounter along the way, who are looking to buy some of his weed. While Boundaries is never quite as moving as it seems to want to be, there is a pleasantly agreeable feel to much of the film that makes it at least somewhat entertaining to watch. There are enough enjoyable moments here and there, coupled with the good performances from its cast, to make it mildly worth a look if you are a fan of the actors.

The DVD also includes the decently made featurette Setting Boundaries: A Look Behind the Scenes.

Boundaries is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 104 minutes and rated 14A.

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