Review: In the funny ‘Hello, My Name Is Doris,’ Sally Field just might prove Oscar worthy


Sally Field gives perhaps the year’s first Oscar-worthy lead actress performance in the funny, beguiling and affecting “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” a brave little film that shows it’s never too late to come of age.

As Doris Miller, a shy, sixtysomething office drone with a recently deceased mother, “clutter” issues and quite the eccentric fashion sense, Field amazes with her gameness, range and commitment.

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Doris’ routine life takes a fanciful turn when she falls for John (Max Greenfield), a handsome new co-worker seemingly half her age. Through a string of amusing, awkward and gutsy ruses, the never-married Doris manages to befriend John, encouraged by his laid-back, inclusive warmth.

In one of the film’s kickier episodes, Doris becomes a wildly unlikely hipster and album cover model when she unwittingly impresses the front man for John’s favorite band. The incident helps bond Doris and John, but could more serious things be in store for this decidedly odd couple?

Needless to say, there are plenty of bumps and curves on Doris’ road to romance, some that she — and we — may see coming, others that blindside her in ways that will prove traumatic, instructive and healing. Doris’ emotional meltdown after she’s asked to start thinning out her crammed Staten Island home is a corker.

Director Michael Showalter (“The Baxter”), who co-wrote with Laura Terruso, based on her short film, manages the movie’s shifting moods and droll flights of fantasy with aplomb.

As strong as Field is here, Greenfield, best known from TV’s “New Girl” series, holds his own against the veteran actress with charm and star power to spare. He proves a hand-in-glove fit for his deftly written role.

The enjoyable supporting cast includes Caroline Aaron, Natasha Lyonne, Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Peter Gallagher, Beth Behrs and a formidable Tyne Daly.



‘Hello, My Name Is Doris’

MPAA rating: R for language

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Landmark, West Los Angeles; Arclight Hollywood

For the Record

March 10, 5:48 p.m.: An earlier version of this review stated that the film was not rated.