‘When You Finish Saving The World’ | Sundance 2022 Review

Directed By:

Jesse Eisenberg

Written By:

Jesse Eisenberg


Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard, Alisha Boe, Jay O. Sanders, Billy Bryk, Eleonore Hendricks


Comedy, Drama

Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut follows a family losing connections with each other. The son, Ziggy, is an indie-folk musician that streams his music for fun, hoping it comes to a potential living. His mother runs a shelter for domestic abuse victims and is too enveloped in that world to understand Ziggy’s passion. Meanwhile, the father sees the writing on the wall, that his family is disconnected from each other in more ways than one. This look into the formative years of a teenager is a bit wooden in terms of dialogue presented, but the performances still shine in this quirky drama.

Finn Wolfhard as Ziggy is very good. Being a teen in todays world I assume is so much more filled with anxiety. Whether if it’s making a career streaming like Ziggy does, or like his crush wanting to save the world and use online platforms to create change. Ziggy is trapped between just wanting to be creative and experiment and following what people thinks he should do.

Julianne Moore is of course always a great performer in any roles she is in. Her character wants to connect with her son but doesn’t understand his life. Both are unwilling to communicate or asses why they are so distant, rather they blame each other for not living up to their standards. the mother finds some comfort in one of the shelter teens, which was an interesting dynamic and I think the most engaging part of the film.

Where I couldn’t really connect with the story mainly came from the dialogue. It can feel a little wooden at times, and though our director is also the writer, and you can clearly hear his voice in the writing, It’s too distinct for the characters to feel unique to themselves. They all sound too similar to Jesse Eisenberg and don’t have their own voice. But in the end I think that is something that can be resolved with more work, and Jesse Eisenberg clearly is showing he is capable of directing and creating something, and I will be there for his next feature.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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