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Sundance review: "For Ellen"

Published January 22, 2012 2:08 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"For Ellen"

U.S. Dramatic

*** (three stars)

Paul Dano ("There Will Be Blood," "Meek's Cutoff") gives an achingly tender performance here as Joby Taylor, a struggling rock musician who returns to an upstate New York town to settle his divorce from his long-estranged wife Claire (Margarita Levieva). The sticking point is whether Joby will get joint custody of their six-year-old daughter Ellen (Shaylana Mandigo), whom Joby barely knows. Writer-director So Young Kim (who has been to Sundance before with "Treeless Mountain" and "In Between Days") creates a spare, elegant script into which Dano channels all of Joby's unfulfilled rock 'n' roll dreams and his regret for not helping Ellen more.

— Sean P. Means

"For Ellen" screens again:

Monday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m., Egyptian Theatre, Park City

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 11:30 a.m., Sundance Screening Room, Sundance resort

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m., Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City

Thursday, Jan. 26, 6 p.m., Eccles Theatre, Park City

Friday, Jan. 27, 11:30 a.m., Library Center Theatre, Park City