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The movie juggles suspense with absurdities to mostly diverting effect but the finale is too nihilistically cynical.

Windfall exists halfway between a French-style Patricia Highsmith adaptation and a quaint Coen Brothers crime film, juggling suspense with absurdities to mostly diverting effect, even if the dividends diminish as the movie drags on.

Essentially a 'huis clos' about a burglar who gets caught out when the billionaire who owns the getaway unexpectedly arrives with his new wife, Windfall shows the central trio negotiating a ransom settlement while deeply buried resentments and hidden frustrations rise to the surface.

Filmed with a pleasingly sun-drenched aesthetic by director Charlie McDowell and boasting a script that has its fair share of unexpected twists - the most memorably Coen-esque one involves a jovial gardener meeting a sad fate - Windfall nevertheless always feels like a rather slight effort, a movie that doesn't invest quite fully enough in big themes and intriguing characters, despite an on form cast.

This is most evident in a disappointing finale which is too nihilistically cynical to give the central characters the emotionally rewarding send-off they deserve.

release: 2022

director: Charlie McDowell

starring: Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons


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