This week, Amazon releases The Tender Bar.
In The Tender Bar, we are taken back to 1972 and the story of 9-year-old J.R. Moehringer (Daniel Ranieri, and Tye Sheridan in his adult years). J.R. is once again scanning the airwaves for ‘The Voice’, the professional name used by his absentee father.
After his fiercely protective mother Dorothy (Lily Rabe) suffers another setback, they go to live with her family in his grandparent’s (Christopher Lloyd and Sondra James) rundown house in Manhesset, Long Island. Both mother and son are working tirelessly to fulfil Dorothy’s Ivy League education dream for J.R.
Understandably, J.R. is craving a father figure, finding comfort at the nearby Dickens pub, where the man behind the bar is his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck). Charlie is quick to realise that J.R.’s skill set isn’t with sports and takes his nephew under his wing.
As J.R. is chasing his dreams and on the search for love, he’s always got a foot at the bar and a bond with its patrons.
Writer William Monahan juggles a non-linear script with ease and it’s an easy watch that deals with many themes which will resonate with most creative souls. Director George Clooney lets the cast and script lead the way.
The cast of mostly big names is what steps The Tender Bar from a casual coming-of-age of story into a must-see coming-of-age story. Affleck dominates the scenes he’s in, but a lot of praise must also be given to both Daniel Ranieri and Tye Sheridan for a convincing portrayal.
The Tender Bar is a hidden gem of a film that demands your attention as it is sure to dominate the upcoming awards season.
The Tender Bar premieres Friday 7 January on Amazon Prime Video.