Wayne (David Sullivan), an alcoholic divorcee clinging on to a youth that is long gone, loses custody of his son Tyler. Hoping to make the most out of their last weekend together, Wayne pretends to take Tyler camping with the approval of his ex-wife. What she doesn’t know is that they are actually taking a trip to Milwaukee, where instead of breaking down the situation to his son, he just wants to have the trip of a lifetime with him.
The film mixes the adventurous spirit of a road trip movie with the melancholic aura and cold shower of reality. Filmmaker Niels Mueller, also director of The Assassination of Richard Nixon, gives an empathic dimension to his protagonist that, together with Nicholas Jacobson-Larson’s score, allow viewers to understand Wayne’s irrational and self-destructive actions. The whole film is aiming at the moment when Wayne will have to explain to his son what the future holds for them, and it is worth the wait, since the interpretation of the two protagonists and the entire final act is worthy of the best indie movies.
It’s also worth mentioning that Alexander Payne (Nebraska) acts as one of the executive producers and definitely gives his personal touch to the film. Payne had also produced the Zellner brothers’ Kumiko, the Treasurer Hunter, which was screened, to everyone’s delight, at Americana in 2015. This time around, Payne brings us Small Town Wisconsin and continues to create the kind of indie cinema that we adore.