TIFF ’10: Will Ferrell gets serious in “Everything Must Go”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: We continue to preview anticipated titles screening at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in our “Road to Toronto” feature.

The fest kicks off on Sept. 9, and HollywoodNews.com will be on the ground bringing you reviews, interviews, and a clearer glimpse at the ever-shifting Oscar race.

To read our previous preview columns, punch “TIFF” into our search window. Today, one of Hollywood’s funniest actors gets serious about cleaning up his life.

Everything Must Go

The Plot: Nick Porter (Will Ferrell) is both a motivational speaker and an alcoholic. After being fired from his job, he returns home to find his wife has left him, changed the locks on their home, and dumped all his possessions on the front yard. Nick’s solution? He holds a garage sale that, in time, becomes the man’s new strategy for survival.

The Director: Dan Rush

The Cast: Will Ferrell, Michael Pena, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Glenn Howerton

The Scoop: Ferrell isn’t just a class clown. The actor has ditched his comic persona for such dramas as “Stranger Than Fiction” (which worked) and “Winter Passing” (which didn’t). Rush is a first-time director, so I’ll be anxious to see his style and skill. It bodes well for both Rush and Ferrell that Raymond Carver – who penned the short story on which “Go” is based – is a celebrated author and poet. Let’s pray his prose translates well to the screen.

Awards Potential: Oscar can be charmed by funnymen who try their hands at drama (see Robin Williams). We’ll be interested to see if Ferrell can dig deep enough into his soul for “Go” to attract the Academy’s attention.

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