5 reasons to see Brad's Status
Ben Stiller's film, Brad's Status was one of our favourites of the year. Yet this film flew under almost everyone's radar, which is how it came to be on our list of the Best Underrated Movies of 2017.
While Stiller is primarily known for his work in comedies, he's also ventured into the indie film world, and often plays a man having a mid-life crisis. No crisis has been quite as intense as the one we get from him in Brad's Status, the new film from Mike White that gets us deep inside of his protagonist's head. Stiller plays a father who is touring universities with his college-bound son in Boston, all the while realizing that his friends are more successful than him, and that his son likely will be too.
Now that the film is available to stream, here are 5 reasons why you need to see Brad's Status.
Ben Stiller gives one of his best performances, even if many will find his character to be insufferable. He's joined by Jenna Fischer as his wife, Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement and Luke Wilson as his old friends, and we were highly impressed by newcomer Austin Abrams, who gives a confident and natural performance as Brad's son Troy.
It's all in Brad's head
Brad's Status stands out because of its unique narrative style, that truly traps us inside of Brad's head: his every thought, desire and fantasy. It's a tough place to occupy, as we're confronted with the petty dissatisfaction of a middle aged white man, but it also paints a larger picture. Brad's problems really are just in his head, as in reality, his life is pretty great.
Authenticity is key
Sometimes it's hard to be faced with the truth, but Brad's Status doesn't shy away. This is an authentic, if even sometimes cringe-worthy character study. As easy as it is to judge Brad, we have to admit that the thoughts he has are probably some we've all had, but don't want to admit. Being so thrown into the psyche of a character who is insecure, regretful, and feeling like his glory days are over, can be a lot to handle as an audience. But the film is critical of Brad, it doesn't let him off the hook for behaving and feeling the way he does.
There's a lot that you can take from Brad's Status, but most obviously, this is a film about being content with your own life, and to not compare yourself to others because the grass isn't always greener. Status isn't everything and success doesn't necessarily result in happiness.
The writer/director of Brad's Status is someone whose work we always look forward to. He is most known for writing the hit comedy School of Rock, but also was the creator of the short-lived but phenomenal HBO series "Enlightened". White is great at giving us flawed characters who are well intentioned but struggling with something that many can relate to. He's an incredibly humanist writer, and Brad's Status is a prime example of that.
Brad's Status is now available to rent or buy at the Cineplex store.Watch the trailer below!
Check out our interview with Ben Stiller and Austin Abrams from TIFF!