By RANDAL C. HILL
Veteran actor Christopher Plummer likely had a good chuckle over his recent obituary on a Facebook page. Not to worry, Plummer fans. The veteran actor—a remarkable 88 and still very much alive—returns to the silver screen with a growl in his voice and a wink in his eye in the Sony Pictures Classics offering of Boundaries, a soft-edged dramady opening June 22nd.
Plummer, still best known as the dashing Captain Georg von Trapp in 1965’s The Sound of Music, is perfectly cast as Jack Jaconi, the charming and debonair
(yet ultimately sly and selfish) octogenarian father of Laura (Vera Farmiga), a frazzled single mom long on the outs with Dad. After being kicked out of his
nursing home for dealing marijuana, Jack shows up unexpectedly at Laura’s place. But poor Laura is already angst-ridden about her own life issues, including the fact that she can’t resist adopting all the stray dogs that fill her cramped Seattle house.
“You’re the pied piper of mange,” Jack
wisecracks, suggesting that in reality Laura needs to rescue herself.
Time for a road trip, it seems. Laura piles
Jack, her surly but bright 14-year-old son Henry (Lewis MacDougall), and a few adorable mutts into her car.
The destination is Los Angeles, where Laura hopes to hand Jack over to her goofy dog-walker sister JoJo (Kristen Schaal).
But Jack has a hidden agenda: he needs to dispense $200,000 worth of weed stashed in the trunk.
As the trio heads south, Jack drops off some of the contraband to a couple of grizzled old hippie pals (Christopher Lloyd and Peter Fonda). Later, the
family meets up with Laura’s crude and philandering ex-husband Leonard (Bobby Cannavale). Along the way Jack forms a secret alliance with Henry, who
helps his grandpa hide and sell his valuable stash while embracing the old guy as a much-needed father figure.
It’s another road-trip flick, yes, but Boundaries is also an engaging and unconventional offering that’s blessed with a savvy and edgy screenplay from Shana Feste, who also directs the project.
And really, no movie can miss with such delicious scenes as when irascible Jack punches out slime ball Leonard, who responds with, “I thought you were a
“Oh, I am,” declares our antihero, “but you bring out the right-wing Christian in me.”