The Tender Bar ★★★
Starring Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd, Briana Middleton
For George Clooney's latest directorial effort, we move away from the sci-fi oddities of 2020's The Midnight Sky and in to something a lot more real and quite literally earthy.
Based on the memoir of the same name, Tye Sheridan stars as J.R, a fatherless boy growing up among a loving but struggling family. As he grows up, he tries to follow his dreams, while always being drawn back to his Uncle Charlie's (Ben Affleck) bar for some friendly advice and lifelong friendship.
This movie is lovely. Start to finish.
With Ben Affleck throwing in yet another fantastic performance. Honestly, Affleck has been underrated for years and here he provides the gravity and glue that holds this whole piece together. Tye Sheridan is also brilliant as the lead. He's the cheeky chap the story needs to give it a bit of jeopardy while also innocent looking enough to give the character heart.
The whole cast in fact are perfectly set. You could watch them for hours and I for one could spend a few hours (every day, after work) in Uncle Charlie's bar.
There are however some misgivings for me as it enters its final act. As there are more and more nods made to J.R's destiny to write a memoir, it becomes a little cheesy while it starts to go through the motions of a "true story" movie.
All in all though, this is well worth a watch; perfect for a chilled out evening in.
The Tender Bar available now on Amazon Prime Video