The Art of Getting By is the latest film from Fox Searchlight, the same studio behind such films as Stealing Beauty, Juno, 127 Hours, and Black Swan. Despite the studio’s stellar reputation for producing thought-provoking and well acted films, Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips has nothing nice to say about The Art of Getting By.
The indie comedy is the directorial dÃ©but of filmmaker Gavin Wiesen and tells the story of George (Freddie Highmore) an underachieving though not unintelligent high-school senior, who must make up for four years of slacking in the few short weeks before graduation. While struggling to make up for his mistakes, George meets Sally (Emma Roberts) and a coming-of-age story ensues.
The talented young cast of Highmore (Finding Neverland) and Roberts (It’s Kind of a Funny Story) is rounded out by veteran actors like actors like Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson, and Elizabeth Reaser (The Twilight Saga)–for a freshman filmmaker that’s pretty impressive.
But Michael Phillips doesn’t seem to think so. In his review Phillips said, “Every scene, and nearly every moment, makes you wonder if Wiesen has talent . . . Wiesen’s feature debut, shot in indistinct hand-held style going for documentary honesty but coming off as affectation, risks little in any direction.”
These are pretty harsh words for a film that was the official selection at the Sundance Film Festival last year. The Art of Getting By opened in theatres this Friday (June 17) and it promises to be entertaining despite Phillips’s opinion that “the film barely gets by on the strength of its cast.”