Best Sellers opens the Raindance Film Festival 2021
Best Sellers opens the Raindance Film Festival 2021 | Film critic
October 27, 2021
Much of the publicity in advance for Bestsellers focused on the fact that this might just be Michael Caine’s last film. He made many conflicting allusions to his future plans (or lack thereof), while his representatives hastily (and emphatically) suggested that Caine’s last hurray was yet to come. Yes Bestsellers turns out to be his swan song, is that a fitting farewell to a monumental career? It should be noted that Gene Hackman’s last role was in Welcome to Mooseport. Do you remember that movie? No? Fair enough. Cameron Diaz said goodbye with a remake of Annie. As such, it could absolutely, unequivocally, be worse.
Lucy Stanbridge (Aubrey Plaza) inherited the publishing house from her father, and it’s not going well. The vultures are circling and a takeover is imminent. In a last ditch effort to save her father’s legacy, she decides to exploit someone else’s. After finding out that she has contracted former reclusive bestselling author Harris Shaw (Michael Caine), she jumps at the chance to publish her first novel since the 1970s. It’s not exactly cooperative, and she has to. taking him on a book tour / road trip in a desperate attempt to boost sales.
Michael Caine delivers yet another vintage Caine performance. Although fragile and dependent on a stick, his Harris Shaw is sharp and vibrant. He’s cantankerous with many sharp edges, but the character is still eerily calming. Plaza basically plays the straight woman, and she does it with succinct skill. These two delightful performers give the film a lot more hype than it otherwise deserves.
Anthony Grieco’s screenplay has yet to come across a cliché that he doesn’t want to repeatedly embrace. The narrative has serious credibility issues, and a lot of the fat should have been cut before a single frame was devoted to celluloid. It would be of great help if director Lina Roessler’s production weren’t so aggressively heartwarming. The score (courtesy of composer Paul Leonard-Morgan) is also quite captivating – overcooked and intrusive to the point of distracting. When it don’t sound like falls from The devil wears Prada, it is threatening that the fantasy will erupt at any time.
May be Bestsellers will be the complete stop of the film career of Michael Caine. If so, that’s not a bad way to close the curtain. It’s not about going out with a bang (or a whimper), but rather coming out with a richly deserved and satisfied nod.
Bestsellers does not yet have a release date.
The Raindance Film Festival takes place from 27e October until 6e November 2021. For more information visit here.
Watch the trailer for Bestsellers here: