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Paul Dano plays a would-be rock star trying to get joint custody of his 6-year-old girl in "For Ellen." Courtesy Sundance Institute
Sundance review: "For Ellen"

"For Ellen"

U.S. Dramatic

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*** (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


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