McGregor is onscreen for almost the entire running time and his portrayal of Oliver is wonderful. Although he looks physically the same in all of his films (unless you count 1994’s Trainspotting), he has that actor’s gift of inhabiting his characters and adapting their personalities. As I said earlier, his Oliver seems like a really good guy, but he’s put up a defensive shield to protect himself from pain. That shield starts to disintegrate when his relationship with his father changes and they’re able to really communicate with each other for the first time in their lives.
There’s a scene in which Hal tells Oliver that Georgia had known he was gay from the beginning, but promised to “fix” him. His eyes fill with tears as he tells his son how badly he wanted that to happen. It’s a remarkable moment, and it explains a lot about Hal’s frequent absences and Georgia’s melancholy.
Laurent (also in Inglourious Basterds) is appealing as McGregor’s love interest. She, too, is carrying serious baggage, and both actors can communicate what’s going on in their minds in scenes that have no dialogue at all. Visjnic, who had a recurring role on TV’s long-running E.R., gives dimension to Andy, a mildly flamboyant and unapologetically promiscuous guy who nevertheless truly loves Hal. Keller has only a few scenes to in which to sketch Georgia’s character, and she effectively offers a portrait of a woman who subsumes her unhappy marriage by indulging her only child. There’s an amusing scene at the art museum where Hal works (he’s not there, of course) where she studies a piece of sculpture and attempts to rearrange her limbs to mimic its shape, much to her son’s bemusement. Warned by a guard to stop, she asks, “What? Aren’t we allowed to interact with the artwork?”