William H. Macy’s directorial debut. When an ad exec’s (Billy Crudup) songwriter son is killed in a school shooting, the man goes into a two-year downward spiral until he comes across some of the talented boy’s demo CDs. He picks up a guitar and plays one at an open-mike night, attracting the attention of sideman Anton Yelchin.
A montage leads to the formation of the titular bar band. But some things are a bit puzzling, like why does he take credit for the songs rather than just tell the truth? A huge, jarring reveal an hour in knocks the film off course, and it never really recovers. Japanese title: Kimi ga Ikita Akashi. (105 min)