A lovely and touching third act helps make up for a wobbly, at times convoluted first hour in the quirky fantasy-dramedy "Walter."
Writer Paul Shoulberg, who expanded the script from his 2010 short film, works too hard to make his characters colorful or idiosyncratic when, given the stylized tale's sweet center, authentic would have sufficed.
Walter (Andrew J. West), a regimented young man who tears tickets at an Indiana multiplex and still lives with his anxious, eggs-centric (long story) mother (
The pressure gets too great, however, when the annoying Greg (Justin Kirk), a ghost stuck in a kind of purgatory, shows up demanding Walter send him to heaven or hell before Greg must witness the remarriage of his wife, Allie (Neve Campbell). That Walter's adored late father (
Meanwhile, a loopy shrink (William H. Macy) proves of little help to Walter's plight. What to do?
The movie works best when at Walter's beloved workplace, where the theater's doughy manager (
Director Anna Mastro coaxes a sympathetic performance from West, who is tasked with bringing life to a largely unreadable character. That is, until Walter can finally shift gears and the troublesome world around him begins making sense — to himself and to the audience.
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes.