Synopsis: Struggling musician Joby (Paul Dano) faces a tough life decision when his estranged wife files for divorce and wants him to sign away any rights he has over their daughter.
Stan's thoughts: For Ellen is one of those beautifully balanced, subtle and well observed low-budget independent films that, had the Hollywood machine got hold of it would have chewed it up into something mawkish and cringe-worthy. Joby is a rounded character. He isn't presented as some sort of great dad about to have his child ripped from his life but young, naive, selfish but good-hearted and conflicted and you warm to him, imperfections and all.
There are no grandstanding, dramatic scenes just humanity quietly seen through a lens. The scenes with Joby and the daughter he hardly knows are beautifully pitched - no precocious child acting here from Shaylena Mandigo just a well-observed painful awkwardness.
A subtle film that is quietly moving.
- Stan's: 73%
- IMDB: 521%
- Metascore: 61%
- Rotten Tomatoes: 66%