PRESS

CNN
Bob Greene

The Open Road," featured a terrific cast — Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake, Mary Steenburgen and Kate Mara, among others — and I thought that, in its low-key way, it was wonderful.


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VARIETY
Joe Leydon

surprisingly involving, “The Open Road” gets respectable mileage from a familiar story… boasting strong performances by Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake…


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LOS ANGELES TIMES
Michael Ordona

Jeff Bridges makes 'The Open Road' worth the trip. The unapologetically hard-drinking, tale-spinning character is right in the actor's wheelhouse


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QPORIT
Eric H. Roffman

Michael Meredith is a writer/director to watch as he navigates his next film projects. He has an interesting sensibility, a talent for pulling in great actors who deliver stylish performances, a sense of sadness as well as a sense of humor, and an original way of telling stories.


The Open Road [TOR] is (surprise, surpise) a road movie, but also a sweet and bittersweet love story, with a complex father-son relationship at its center. It’s a comedy and a drama. You’ve probably never heard of this film, because it hardly had any theatrical distribution; but it’s well worth checking out.

The writer/director is a relative newcomer, Michael Meredith, [MM] who worked before with Wim Wenders (who acted as executive producer).

It has a stellar cast… with an exuberant performance by Jeff Bridges, an affecting performance by Justin Timberlake, and an adorable performance by Kate Mara.

(Note, by the way, that Jeff Bridges is currently being mentioned as an Oscar contender for his work in another film this year, Crazy Heart.)

The director and female lead both have a strong sports heritage: Kate Mara, a Breakthrough Performer atThe Hamptons Film Festival [HIFF] in 2008, comes from a family of football owners (great granddaughter of Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Timothy Mara, founder of the NY Giants). Michael Meredith is the son of football legend Don Meredith (Dallas Cowboys). Appropriately, the main character, Kyle Garrett, played by Bridges, is a sports legend (baseball in this case). But it’s not a movie about sports — familiarity with the milieu of sports stars enriches the ambiance, but is not the subject of the movie. The movie is about a difficult family relationship and a difficult romance.

Justin Timberlake, of course, is well known as a singer, but he is also a fine actor, delivering sensitive performances in numerous films, and he hits just the right notes here.

One mark of a special film is the depth of portrayals of the minor characters. Here, Lyle Lovett, Harry Dean Stanton, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, and others all make important contributions in supporting roles.

In spinning this tale, though Bridges plays his character with full-out style, MM maintains a level of reality, both in the complications and the resolutions, that makes it much more grounded — and therefore much more interesting — than most family stories or romantic films.

Anyone searching for a love story different from the standard Hollywood formula romance should check out this film.

Meredith (I’ve had some brief opportunities to chat with him) is an earnest and nice guy. This is his second film; earlier, he made Three Days Of Rain [TDOR], which just happened to be on TV last night. (See it next on Showtime: Tue Dec 22 8:45 AM).

In Cleveland, during a Jazz festival and rainstorm, the bluesy score and lousy weather set the tone for a morose and downbeat, interesting and atmospheric film. In TDOR, as in The Open Road, MMinvestigates father-son relationships. One father, played by Peter Falk is, like Bridges in TOR, an idiosyncratic and difficult dad. (Michael’s own dad, Don Meredith, is in the film and does a fine turn as a father who’s recently lost a son.)

Michael Meredith is a writer/director to watch as he navigates his next film projects. He has an interesting sensibility, a talent for pulling in great actors who deliver stylish performances, a sense of sadness as well as a sense of humor, and an original way of telling stories.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Sheri Linden

Meredith has woven together a half-dozen portraits of contemporary lives-on-the-edge in this quietly searing drama.


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CHICAGO READER
Jonathan Rosenbaum

A half dozen Chekhov stories inspired this 2002 debut feature by writer-director Michael Meredith… with good performances by Peter Falk, Blythe Danner, Joey Bilow, Michael Santoro, Merle Kennedy, and former football pro Don Meredith


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NEW YORK TIMES
Jeannette Catsoulis

Written and directed with great delicacy by the younger Mr. Meredith, "Three Days of Rain" is a quiet, thoughtful film about isolation and separation. Resisting the impulse to overstate Chekhov's subtle themes, he creates open-ended scenes paced to the steady rhythm of the symbolic downpour.


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CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Roger Ebert

There is a way in which movies like this create the stage on which we perform our own lives


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AUSTIN CHRONICAL
Marjorie Baumgarten

the Chekhovian interest in the relationships among people and Meredith's ability to turn the banal into something revelatory are all here in 'Three Days of Rain'. The film is full of little moments of insight and depth…


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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Jami Bernard

Erick Avari, as a man who wakes up to his humanitarian obligations, provides the movie's affecting center, and Peter Falk gives a harrowing performance as a hopeless drunk trying to manipulate his grown son…. The ends of each story work beautifully


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THE A.V. CLUB
Noel Murray

Beautifully lit, with some inventive but unobtrusive framing, and the moody jazz score unifies the multiple storylines without overwhelming them.


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LA WEEKLY
Matthew Duersten

The inspired choice of Lyle Lovett as a jazz DJ provides the glue that links various microdramas… The result is both a hypnotic mood piece and a murky riff on urban Midwestern ennui.


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CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Michael Wilmington

A "Chekhovian" movie that's closer to the master's mood than many, it's also a jazzy, rainy day film that makes serious and amusing points about life and people in the midst of its downpour.

A worthy new addition to list of fine ensemble films… introduces us to several dozen interesting, well-acted characters and a very gifted new writer-director, Michael Meredith.


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