The great Christopher Plummer plays Jack, an eternally-chill pot dealer in the new movie Boundaries. Jack’s activities and his generally ornery personality have gotten him kicked out of yet another nursing home and so it’s up to his estranged daughter Laura (Vera Farmiga), along with her son Henry (Lewis MacDougall) to drive him cross-country so he can stay with his other daughter JoJo (Kristen Schaal).
The road-trip means a lot of close-quarters interaction time, which allows Jack a chance to really get to know his grandson and teach the kid to loosen up and break the rules every once in a while. Laura isn’t thrilled with this but, of course, the time together – aided by the diversions Jack insists on taking along the way – means the father and daughter come to understand each other a bit better as well.
Laura, Jack and Henry are all shown riding in the car on the poster, laughing about something. That and the copy “With every road trip comes baggage” explains as best it can that this is a family trip that will likely involve some reopening of old wounds as well as fresh discoveries, revelations and acceptance amongst the travelers.
Laura is in therapy talking about the issues she has with her father when the trailer opens. Jack, it turns out, likes his weed, something that’s caused issues in the family for a while. He’s been kicked out of his community home and it’s up to Laura to take him cross-country to stay with her sister. Along the way Jack enlists Henry’s help to unload the massive amount of pot that’s ready for sale, which involves making some changes to the planned route, including seeing Laura’s ex-husband and Henry’s father. That’s just one of the colorful characters they cross paths with.
It all looks very charming, with loose and energetic performances from both Farmiga and Plummer. Interesting that it’s one of a few movies recently involving young kids taking up weed selling as a side hustle, but these are the times we’re living in, right?
Online and Social
There’s some decent information on the official website from Sony Classics. It opens with the trailer but once you get past that you can scroll down and read more about the story, the cast and the crew. There’s also a decent collection of stills. The only stand-alone social profile created for the movie was on Facebook.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
I don’t think Sony’s done any paid promotion for the movie, though there may have been some geo-specific ads run to help drive awareness in the areas it’s being released.
Media and Publicity
The movie was one of those announced to be screened at the SXSW Film Festival. Sony Classics released a clip around the time of that screening that provided a look at the basic premise of the story. An interview with Farmiga where she talked about the story and what it was like to work with Plummer accompanied the release of the first trailer on EW.
There were a few more interviews closer to release, but not anything that amounted to a significant push of any sort.
We’ve seen this movie plenty of times before, so the real value proposition is in the performances of the leads, as well as in the promise that there’s some new perspective being taken on familiar tropes. The former seems much more readily apparent in the marketing materials than the ladder, as the combination of Farmiga and Plummer is well worth checking out while “lessons learned on a road trip” is well-worn territory.
PICKING UP THE SPARE
OK, I’ll grant you that co-star Peter Fonda’s Tweet about Bannon Trump was in poor taste, but right now the last person who should be asserting any sort of moral highground on literally any issue at all is Donald Trump Jr. Indiewire has the whole recap, including Sony Classics’ position on the matter.
Christopher Plummer’s character was based in part on the real life grandfather of director Shana Feste.
More from director Shana Feste as well as star Vera Farmiga about the genesis of the story, shooting the movie with so many dogs, the relationships each have with their fathers and thoughts on the current conversation around the demographic representation of the film critic community.