Would I like to watch a Hitchcock-ian thriller starring Jesse Plemons, Jason Segel, and Lily Collins available to stream on Netflix right now? Yes, please. The new film, Windfall (2022), directed by Charlie McDowell, has been out for a few weeks and on my radar, but I hadn’t gotten around to watching it. I’d heard mixed reviews, but I felt this cast and the premise would click for me – and, I’m glad to say, I was right in this assumption.
A man (Segel) looks to be pretty bored by his fields of oranges, fresh-squeezed juice, and simple but fancy life. He seems to not be impressed by the gorgeous home and belongings he has collected anymore. That is, until he starts wiping down all the things we have seen him touch. He’s about to leave this home that apparently isn’t his after all, when an idea strikes him to look around a bit more. Unfortunately, while searching the house, he hears the sound of tires pulling up – and the owners (Plemons and Collins) of the fancy vacation home have arrived for a weekend getaway.
The set-up to the story is so compelling and such a slow burn. Segel doesn’t get enough credit as an actor. He really has a wide range in his performances. There are plenty of examples of his ability to deliver comedy, but his size makes him instantly intimidating, and his ability to play on sympathy makes him endearing. All of these elements in his skill set factor into why this movie is so watchable. Of course, Plemons has been flexing his acting muscles for a while now, and here he gets to show off his ability to be absolutely one of the worst kinds of people:; a rich, arrogant asshole. As one who is a fan of Plemons may expect, he crushes this role, just like every other one he has taken.
Collins hasn’t had as many opportunities in the past to shine, but I think McDowell and the script really allow her show off her talents. She is tiny by comparison to the two men she’s acting against, but is able to establish a sense of authority in the scenes. There is a timidness to her character, but the foundation underneath it is clearly one of strength and determination. Collins brings that into the performance in major ways, which really pays off by the conclusion.
I did watch this while doing other things, but I was so captivated that by the end that it had 100% of my attention. It’s a breezy watch at 90 minutes, and one that should keep most audiences engrossed despite being mostly dialogue. When you have this caliber of talent speaking, it is easy to forget that’s really all they’re doing, for the most part. Windfall earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.