Linoleum (Drama, Sci-Fi, Comedy) (2022)
Director: Colin West
Writer: Colin West
Stars: Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn, Katelyn Nacon, Gabriel Rush
The life of a children’s TV-show host changes drastically, with every aspect of his life seemingly crumbling; a rocket unexpectedly crashes in his backyard, and he slowly tries to reclaim his happiness and attempts to fulfil an unrealised dream.
Premiering at South by Southwest, Colin West’s longest film yet in ‘’Linoleum’’ takes base aspects of his short ‘’Here & Beyond’’ and forms a joyful, yet sombre mid-life story. An indie project with some household names that can be wondrous and irresolute. It’s been filmed in New York City and been produced by Sub-Sequential, Storm City Films and Brain Scratch Productions while being distributed by Shout! Studios.
Hosting a children’s television show airing only at midnight, Cameron Edwin (Jim Gaffigan) goes through somewhat of a mid-life crisis with his wife filing a divorce, a dying father, an indeterminate teenage daughter and his TV-show being snatched up and re-packaged by studio executives. Things are in disarray, yet a sudden rocket crashing into his backyard returns some childhood imagination and strange occurrences happening lately change the way he sees the world.
Far from straightforward, ‘’Linoleum’’ is both whimsical and curious there’s some narrative throughout and in the end West turns things on their heads. An Indie project projecting wild ideas, not sticking to any set formula but neatly tied-up.
Within an obvious 90’s aesthetic, Gaffigan provides a father, clearly struggling to accept his seemingly pre-determined path in life. Yet, other aspects of ‘’Linoleum’’ prove this isn’t yet another mid-life-crisis type film. Strange coincidences guide the script as this suburban family goes through the motions, oddities incorporated. Seehorn’s Erin and Nacon’s Nora create interludes providing more than just Gaffigan’s hesitant father figure.
Whereas disparities are apparent, apart from this 90s hook the feature almost presents similarly to ‘’Moon Manor’’ whimsical, with life lessons of sorts. That is where this oddball independent film truly shines, it’s really not easily pinned down and while certain parts seem to have interpretations it all fits in the end, with oddity and plot incoherency taken for granted. Especially endearing here are the performances, Gaffigan most obviously performing two roles, with Seehorn being a great addition, not being used to seeing her in film. There’s little effort needed to immerse yourself, and while not everything makes sense, within minutes I felt ‘’Linoleum’’ to be one of those highly-underrated gems. A diamond in the rough perhaps. Multiple masks are worn, from a young coming-of-age relationship-drama to mid-life-crisis drama to the comedic takes it works together as somewhat one, more than you realise at first.
It's heartfelt, endearing and with a final message after a journey anyone at a certain point in life can wipe a tear at.