For Ellen is about an aspiring rock star named Joby Taylor who on the inside is a sad and lonely man. Like all aspiring rock stars his dream is to make it, and he has come close but has never made true success. This band and his dream seem on the brink of extinction, which can be attributed to Jobyâ€™s anti-social behavior. Well, we watch as he does go into the real world thru New York to attend a divorce hearing. Well, he finds out at the hearing that he will receive half of the value of his house and stuff but lose all custody of his little girl.
As you can guess he is floored and upset by this. After the initial talks before anything is signed Joby returns to his own hell which is a room in an empty motel. You feel the pain of this manâ€™s existence not from his emotion or how disconnected he is from reality, but just the dire of the situation. The man is about to lose his daughter in a divorce, he has nothing to show for his life and he is alone in the freezing cold in a sad room. Jobyâ€™s lawyer Fred tries to be a friend to him, he invites him out to eat with him and Fredâ€™s family, during dinner you would think Fredâ€™s mom is thinking this is a date because she basically cross examines Joby. This film for me was heart breaking, Paul Dano who plays Joby really pulled out a career making role. How this man is not on the Oscar Ballot this year is beyond me, from his appearance to his behavior to him dealing with life. The scenes with him and his daughter, was not so much a father and daughter thing to me it was more like a child who knows this man who is her father is nothing more than a child himself that will never mature or grow up. We also watch in the film when he realizes he does want to be a father, and finally realizing that he has a child. Joby comes across like every other sad and lonely dreamer, and this film will make you think long after it is over. Joby tries so hard in this film to think about who he is, what he wants to be and where he is going. This man is going thru an abyss of no direction and just neglect from life.
This film is recommended if not for the performances, for the storytelling and the characters. You will watch this film and remember Joby and his tale long after it is over, and chances are you probably know a Joby of your own.
8.5 out of 10