“The Way, Way Back” is a Frontrunner

WayWayBack Think about your high school days. Remember that one awkward kid in your math class who everyone took pity on? Fourteen-year-old Duncan (Liam James) is that kid. The film follows Duncan throughout his trip to the beach for a summer getaway with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), his mean potential stepfather, Trent (Steve Carell), and Trent’s daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Longing to get out of the house, Duncan gets a summer job where he befriends two eccentric workers at the water park (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash). Other cast members include AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and Allison Janney. Directed and written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the film delivers at the emotional level without feeling contrived. A sharp script, loosely based on Rash’s personal experiences, along with great acting let the audience experience what Duncan feels as he fights to be seen as more than a “three.” The Way, Way Back is not short on humor, either. The laughs balance nicely with the overall story and add light moments to what could have been a very dark film. This film is a standout among this year’s Sundance lineup. Definitely see it if you can!