I saw this film for the second time last night, and what a delight it remains! The rural Newfoundland setting is sparse, and yet the script moves quickly from one social encounter to the next, each new scene revealing more about these characters and their desires, their anguish, their capacity for childlike joy.
The chemistry between the three main characters is so unlikely and so delightful that it is pointless to analyze beyond the obvious forms of emptiness that draw them together. So, one at a time:
Peter Dinklage as Finn gives a stunning performance that ranges from shy vulnerability, to rage, to patient endurance. He is an astonishing, smart actor.
Bobby Cannavale, the Cuban American, Joe, almost steals every scene he is in. His unfiltered energy and his desperate extroversion is both shocking and delightful. Almost steals. I was too busy watching Finn and Olivia’s responses to Joe since those responses were equally fascinating.
And Patricia Clarkson gives a slightly veiled but rich performance as Olivia that begins with moments of hilarious clumsiness but slowly grows to reveals a deep woundedness under the surface.
The film carries potentially heavy material with amazing
light-handedness, and yet the deeper themes manage to resonate. It is light-hearted without treating its characters lightly. It is light-hearted and heartening at the same time.