Here is my Windfall (2022) Movie Review. A Hitchcockian thriller film about a young couple (Lily Collins and Jesse Plemons) who arrive at their holiday home to discover it has been plundered.
Should this noir-ish thriller be on your watchlist? Let’s find out.
Windfall (2022) Movie Review
Windfall is a 2022 Netflix crime, drama, and thriller film directed by Charlie McDowell.
When a man breaks into a tech billionaire’s empty vacation home, things go sideways when the arrogant mogul and his wife arrive for a last-minute getaway.
This stars Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons, and Lily Collins and it is very reminiscent of mystery thrillers that would feel right at home in the 40s and maybe even the 50s.
Even with the opening sequence, the title and the credits play out over just this lockdown shot of the back of a house like you would see in those older type of films.
Now, the first handful of minutes of this is worthless. I mean, we’re just watching Jason Siegel wander through an Orange Grove and then walking through a house.
Now, we’re clued in pretty quickly, though, that the residence isn’t his by his choice of urinals and then the fact that he begins to rifle through cabinets and drawers.
Like I said, this reminds me of older noirish thrillers and some of the setups feel a little bit Hitchcockian. I mean, it’s a limited cast with only four players on-screen and then one additional via voice. And the tone and the feel of this is quieter, impatient, but with this slowly building anxiety.
I really like Jason Segel in this. He’s reserved, but it feels and looks like he’s trying to keep his cool. Like there’s just this rage that’s threatening to boil out of control, but he keeps squashing it down to stay in control.
And the way that he shows this is really effective and I thought it was engaging. Now, while he’s a criminal, he also becomes a little bit sympathetic, not fully, mind you, but a bit.
And Jesse Plemons is wonderfully self-absorbed and then condescending. I mean in one way, you root for him because he’s just fed up with Siegel’s robbery scheme and then his outrage makes sense. But Plemons is also so smug that he’s got to egg Seagull on, which could potentially make things all the more worse.
Lily Collins plays Jessie’s wife and she’s great at keeping her cool. But there’s also this stunted rage that comes from her having to just put up with all of her husband’s treatment over. He’s a jerk most of the time, and she gets a lot of the brunt of his condescension when Segel isn’t on the receiving end of it.
For all the characters, they’re pretty much strangers to us. Bits and pieces of who they are are slowly revealed, but I couldn’t say that we know any of them intimately or in-depth. I’m not sure that’s completely needed either.
Some of the intrigues comes from them being unfamiliar, but we also get to do just enough about them so that we can form opinions.
The dialogue exchanges are patient, but they’re sparse. There are some great sequences we just watch the characters sitting and staring at each other. They’re all waiting because at some specific time something is to arrive, which should then resolve all of the issues.
I love the tension that comes from the looks of boredom and exasperation that each of the three gives off. I mean, it’s not just the two that are being held against their will, but also Segel, who he doesn’t really want to be there either.
There are some pretty dark sequences that unfold as decisions lead to mishaps, which then lead to tragedy. I like that the story works to efficiently create this patient’s urgency. We feel the uneased building and despite a supposed resolution that’s mentioned, there are elements that come into play that drastically change the course of the narrative and then character motivations.
This movie is a short one at only 92 minutes. I think because it’s quieter and slower in pace, you may feel a bit of the time, especially in the moments where the characters are just sitting around, but I didn’t ever feel that the story was dragging.
The quietness actually worked to engage me more because I was relying on the dialogue and then the mannerisms of the characters to create any excitement or drama.
The cinematography is really well executed. It captures the scenery beautifully, creating this calming and serene visual that then contrasts nicely with the dread and unease that just threatens to erupt.
I can see this being a stage production also with the way that the dialogue flows and how our characters interact. While the story takes place on this Ranch style home with an Orange Grove, most of the scenes are carried out in a living room or on a patio.
And because it’s mainly dialog-driven, we can really focus on the nuances of the characters and their performances without being distracted by peripheral action.
I like that a lot of the motivation for Segel’s character is only hinted at for most of the film. This provides some intrigue, but luckily the story doesn’t hinge on the reveal.
It’s something that may niggle at us a bit and would be nice to really know why he’s doing what he’s doing, but at the end of it, if we don’t get confirmation, it’s not a big deal. The real reason is less interesting and exciting than the performances are.
Now as the film got towards its climax, I feel that it became predictable at how it was all going to play out and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment. But there wasn’t this surprise like I think the film thinks that it’s going to provide.
That being said, though, I did really like the turn that it takes, especially because of what it means for the characters. Nobody comes out unscathed from this story. They’re all damaged and even culpable in one way or another.
So overall, Windfall 2022 movie is a quiet but building thriller that borrows heavily from the pace and stylings of noirish films from the classic era of the forties.
The cinematography captures the beautiful scenery nicely and also works to create an environment that complements the subdued anxiety coming from the wonderful acting.
While we get good performances from Plemons and Collins, the standout is Seagull who is the main driver. As we watch a frustrated and even ill-equipped thief attempt to pull off a robbery.
The story progression does become predictable as it goes along, but the final execution can be enjoyable, especially with how dark it becomes.
I enjoy this as a one-time watch but it’s not something I see myself revisiting even much later down the road. There’s no sex or nudity, a lot of profanity, and some violence.
So I am going to give Windfall (2022) Movie 4/5.
So have you seen thrillers lately? I’d love to hear what you’ve seen in the comments below.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of the new Netflix Movie Windfall (2022). See you next time.
Windfall (2022) Movie Trailer
Here is the trailer of the new Netflix Movie Windfall (2022).
A Hitchcockian thriller about a young couple (Lily Collins and Jesse Plemons) who arrive at their holiday home to discover it has been plundered.