Away We Go
|Away We Go|
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Sam Mendes|
|Produced by||Edward Saxto
|Written by||Dave Eggers
|Music by||Alexi Murdoch|
|Editing by||Sarah Flack|
|Studio||Edward Saxon Productions
Neal Street Productions
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Away We Go is a 2009 comedy-drama directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes and written by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film stars John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Paul Schneider, Carmen Ejogo, Chris Messina, Melanie Lynskey, Josh Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
It had a limited theater release in the United States starting June 5, 2009. It opened the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on September 29, 2009.
Verona De Tessant (Maya Rudolph) and Burt Farlander (John Krasinski) are in their early thirties and struggling to meet daily needs and build fulfilling lives as an anatomy artist and a salesman of insurance futures, respectively. When they learn they will soon become parents, they are confronted with the challenge of how - and where - to raise a child and build a happy family.
Six months into Verona's pregnancy, she and Burt visit their only family in the area, Burt's parents, Gloria and Jerry (Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels), only to find that they have decided to move to Antwerp, Belgium, for two years a month before the baby is due to be born. Frustrated at Burt's parents' selfishness and ill-thinking, he and Verona see this as an opportunity to find somewhere else to raise their family.
They first visit Phoenix, Arizona, meeting up with Verona's old boss, Lily (Allison Janney), her husband, Lowell (Jim Gaffigan), and their two children. Burt in particular is disturbed by Lily and Lowell's crass and mean-spirited behavior toward one another and their children.
Burt and Verona next visit Verona's sister, Grace (Carmen Ejogo), in Tucson, Arizona. At Verona's request, Burt tries to persuade Grace to stay with her boring boyfriend. When Burt takes a call and displays his trademark humor, Grace tells Verona that she is lucky to have him and Verona agrees. While shopping, Grace tries to get Verona to talk about their deceased parents.
On their way to Wisconsin, they are told they cannot fly by airline employees who believe Verona is in her eighth month. The couple insists that she is only six months in but ultimately take a train. In Madison, Wisconsin, the couple visits Burt's childhood friend and pseudo-cousin, "LN" (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a college professor with inherited money and radical views about parenting. Burt and Verona bring a stroller as a gift, greatly angering LN as she and her husband Roderick (Josh Hamilton) are a "continuum home." When Roderick's condescension and LN's backhanded compliments to Verona get to be too much for Burt, he tells them they are horrible people and he and Verona leave but not before letting their kid take a ride in the stroller, which he enjoys.
Burt and Verona then visit old college friends in Montreal, Tom (Chris Messina) and his wife, Munch Garnett (Melanie Lynskey), and their diverse family of adopted children. Verona and Burt are happy to have found a loving family and a nice town and decide to move to Montreal. After dinner they wind up at a bar during "amateur dance night" in which Munch is an active participant. During Munch's performance, Tom confesses to Burt that Munch has recently suffered her fifth miscarriage and that they seem unable to have biological children. Verona has also picked up clues over the night and shares a knowing glance with Burt as Munch and Tom embrace.
In the morning, Burt receives an emergency call from his brother, Courtney (Paul Schneider), in Miami, whose wife has left him. Burt and Verona fly to Miami, where Courtney worries about his young daughter and the potential effects of a divorce on her. Burt tries to comfort Courtney while Verona spends time with his daughter. Burt and Verona spend the night outside on a trampoline, promising to love each other and their daughter and have a happy home.
The next day, Verona tells Burt a story about her childhood and her parents. Moved by her memory, they decide to settle in Verona's old family home. Realizing it is the place for them, they sit together happily, overlooking the water.
- John Krasinski as Burt Farlander
- Maya Rudolph as Verona De Tessant
- Carmen Ejogo as Grace De Tessant
- Jeff Daniels as Jerry Farlander
- Catherine O'Hara as Gloria Farlander
- Allison Janney as Lily
- Jim Gaffigan as Lowell
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as LN
- Josh Hamilton as Roderick
- Melanie Lynskey as Munch Garnett
- Chris Messina as Tom Garnett
- Paul Schneider as Courtney Farlander
Critical reviews 
The film received a positive rating of 67% based on 171 film critics at the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. A.O. Scott of The New York Times described the two main characters as self-righteous people "aware of their special status as uniquely sensitive, caring, smart and cool beings on a planet full of cretins and failures". Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 58 out of 100, based on 33 reviews.
The soundtrack of Away We Go was released on June 2, 2009, and primarily features songs from Scottish singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch.
(All songs by Alexi Murdoch except where noted)
- "All My Days" (4:57)
- "Orange Sky" (6:18)
- "Blue Mind" (5:45)
- "Song for You" (4:38)
- "Breathe" (4:18)
- "Towards the Sun" (4:40)
- "Meet Me in the Morning" by Bob Dylan (4:21)
- "What Is Life" by George Harrison (4:24)
- "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers (3:30)
- "Wait" (5:59)
- "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" by The Velvet Underground (7:28)
- "The Ragged Sea" (3:19)
- "Crinan Wood" (5:45)
"All My Days" was featured in the film's trailer.
- "Away We Go (2009) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- Jaafar, Ali (2009-04-14). "Sam Mendes film to open Edinburgh". Variety. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- Away We Go at Rotten Tomatoes
- A. O. Scott (2009-06-05). "Movie Review - Away We Go - Practicing Virtue, and Proud of It". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- "Away We Go (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-10-13.