Review: I'll See You In My Dreams

"The kind of movie film festivals were built for"

Danner, like a boss
Danner, like a boss

A surprisingly lovely bit of counter-programming arrives ahead of the dinosaurs in the form of I’ll See You In My Dreams. Carol Petersen (the wonderful Blythe Danner), an ex-musician and teacher, has been on pause since her husband passed 20 years ago. When her dog dies (this happens onscreen, it’s not gory but brace yourself) and she meets an intriguing man (Sam Elliott) in the same week, she starts to take some chances in life. Martin Starr is along as a struggling musician slash pool cleaner who coaxes Carol back toward her art; their relationship is oddly struck and delicately handled. Elliott leans into his deep-voiced manliness in the most delightful, natural way, all cigars and declarative statements—he and Danner are a joy to watch together—and June Squibb, Mary Beth Hurt and Rhea Perlman appear periodically as Carol’s squad and comic relief. Co-writer and director Brett Haley, with his second feature, achieves something very warm-hearted and appealing despite low stakes, thanks to a special performance from his lead. This is the kind of movie film festivals were built for, and now it’s in the real world—catch it while you can.

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