‘Windfall’ Movie Review: Jesse Plemons and Lily Collins Marital Drama-Turned Home Invasion
Windfall is a dark comedic thriller that blends a marital drama with a robbery that goes horribly wrong. The One I Love director Charlie McDowell directs a screenplay written by Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker. It’s a film that introduces elements of both cinema and stage play. Windfall is a tad muted, but it still delivers as an entertaining neo-noir.
‘Windfall’ showcases a robbery gone wrong
A man credited as Nobody (Jason Segel) breaks into a tech billionaire CEO’s (Jesse Plemons) empty vacation home. The robber decides to take his sweet time exploring the home and tasting the sweet life. However, he’s taken off-guard when the CEO arrives with his wife (Lily Collins) for a last-minute holiday.
Windfall continues to spiral out of control as the trio tries to come to a solution. However, Nobody is in over his head, as he attempts to get the most money possible while getting out clean. The CEO and his wife simply want to get the intruder out of their home, so that they can enjoy what’s left of their holiday weekend.
Director Charlie McDowell creates a classist home invasion
Lader and Walker’s screenplay keeps all of its characters names hidden, simply crediting them as Nobody, CEO, and his wife. Windfall opens up with Nobody living the good life in a house that isn’t his. However, it quickly becomes clear that he isn’t a professional robber. He makes significant mistakes and never seems to know what he’s doing and the CEO and his wife recognize that. As a result, they appear oddly calm.
Classism is a major theme in Windfall, as the characters have entirely different views on what constitutes a good quality of life. The CEO and his wife repeatedly offer more money than Nobody is asking for, laughing at the low amount of money he’s requesting in his demands.
The CEO is an extraordinarily self-centered and egotistical man. He created an algorithm intended to “enrich” the lives of companies to exist with fewer employees. The CEO’s lack of respect for those he deems as less deserving extends to his own assistant, consistently demeaning her.
Windfall tucks a marital drama into its home invasion chaos. The cracks in the CEO and his wife’s marriage begin to spiderweb, as he has no issue putting her in danger to save his own skin. Lader and Walker’s screenplay explores some more personal dynamics between the couple, while Nobody remains a complete mystery.
‘Windfall’ showcases a phenomenal performance from Jesse Plemons
Perhaps one of the most intriguing tricks of Windfall is its ability to switch focus between its characters. The film often plays with perspective on robbery and the social and economic climates. It consistently begs the question – who is the main character? McDowell shifts the storytelling to keep the audience guessing regarding whose story this actually is.
The Power of the Dog actor Plemons turns in a delectable performance that is unlike anything he’s done before. He’s relentless as the self-absorbed CEO in a way that consistently steals the scene every time he’s on the screen. Segel also turns in a solid performance, bringing a mix of dramatic and comedy chops. Finally, Collins provides a sense of sympathy and sincerity throughout the runtime.
McDowell’s film is a marital drama packaged inside of a home invasion thriller about classism and destiny. Windfall is a compelling neo-noir with a particularly outstanding performance from Plemons. The film is a bit restrained in both its home invasion and marital drama, but it’s plenty entertaining.
Windfall is now available to stream exclusively on Netflix.