Kodachrome (film)

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Kodachrome film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byMark Raso
Produced by
Written byJonathan Tropper
Music byAgatha Kaspar
CinematographyAlan Poon
Edited byGeoff Ashenhurst
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • September 8, 2017 (2017-09-08) (TIFF)
  • April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States

Kodachrome is a 2017 American drama film, directed by Mark Raso, based upon a New York Times article written by A.G. Sulzberger.[1] It stars Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, Bruce Greenwood, Wendy Crewson, and Dennis Haysbert. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2017, and was released on April 20, 2018, by Netflix.


Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is a record company A and R man who is in danger of losing his job after his company's biggest client signs with another label. His father's assistant and nurse Zoe Kern (Elizabeth Olsen) arrives at his office and informs him that his father Ben (Ed Harris), a famous photographer, is terminally ill. Though they haven't spoken in over 10 years, Ben has requested that Matt drive him to "Dwayne's Photo" in Parsons, Kansas, the last shop that still develops Kodachrome film. Ben has several undeveloped rolls he wants to have processed before he dies, and Dwayne's will stop in the near future because Kodak no longer makes the required dyes.

Matt refuses, but Ben's manager Larry (Dennis Haysbert), persuades him by offering to arrange a meeting between Matt and the Spare Sevens, a band he has been trying to sign. Matt, Ben and Zoe start the journey, and Ben throws away Matt's GPS and insists on taking back roads so he can take photos and enjoy the scenery. In Ohio, the group makes a detour so they can visit Ben's brother Dean (Bruce Greenwood) and Dean's wife Sarah (Wendy Crewson), who were Matt's surrogate parents following his mother's death. Zoe and Matt bond over Matt's old music collection, and later a drunk Matt leans in to kiss her, but falls off the bed. He sleeps on the floor, and they end up sharing stories of their failed marriages. The next morning, Zoe is awakened by Ben, who has fallen in the bathroom and needs help to stand up. Ben irritates Dean and Sarah at breakfast by mentioning that Ben and Sarah once had a sexual relationship. Sarah explains that it was before she and Dean dated, which does little to assuage Dean's anger.

In Chicago, Matt gets the chance to make his pitch to the Spare Sevens, and follows his father's advice not to tell the band how great they are, but to point out what they're doing wrong and why they need Matt to fix it. Lead singer Jasper (Gethin Anthony) and the other band members admire Matt's nerve and begin to agree to the outlines of a deal, but start to mock Ben when he accidentally urinates on himself. Though it will probably cost him his job, Matt tells them he can’t respect them and leaves the meeting to check on his father.

At their hotel, Ben expresses disappointment to Zoe that Matt didn't close the deal. Zoe points out that Matt made a career-ending decision in defending his father, which leads to Ben firing her. Zoe joins Matt at a bar, where he receives several texts from his boss letting him know he has been fired. They continue to drink, and then spend the night together. The next morning, Zoe calls her night with Matt a mistake and returns to New York. Matt receives no answer at Ben's door and has the hotel staff open it. Ben is unconscious on the floor, and Matt has him rushed to the hospital. The doctor tells Matt that Ben's cancer can no longer be treated, he cannot travel, and will be placed in hospice care. That night, Ben struggles to load film into a camera, eliciting Matt's help. Through tears, Ben tells Matt that he doesn't expect forgiveness, but that he loves him. Matt and Ben embrace.

The next day, Matt takes Ben out of the hospital so they can finish the trip to Parsons, which will require driving nonstop overnight to make it to the photo lab in time. They drop off Ben's film at Dwayne's and as they start to leave, Ben is recognized by several patrons, most of whom are well-known photographers also on hand to get their film developed. One says he became a photographer after seeing Ben's work, and asks to have a photo taken with him, giving Matt insight into his father's influence and legacy. In the hotel room, Ben is cleaning his camera when he dies. Larry arrives to make funeral arrangements. Dwayne delivers the developed photos. Matt offers them to Larry, but Larry refuses, saying that Ben's wish was for Matt to take possession and curate them for a showing. At Ben's home, Matt loads the photo slides into a projector and is surprised to see dozens of pictures of himself as a little boy, many with his deceased mother, and some with his father. Zoe arrives and asks if he'd like some company, then they stand together and view Ben's slides.



Harris and Sudeikis at premiere (2017)

The film had its premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[2] Shortly after, Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film.[3] The film was released on April 20, 2018.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 72% based on 46 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Kodachrome gains richer hues due to Ed Harris' colorful performance, which is enough to enliven a solid if predictable father-son road trip drama."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]


  1. ^ Sulzberger, A.G. (December 29, 2010). "For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  2. ^ Pond, Steve (August 15, 2017). "Aaron Sorkin, Brie Larson, Louis CK Movies Added to Toronto Film Festival Lineup". TheWrap. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  3. ^ Galuppo, Mia; Siegel, Tatiana (November 9, 2017). "Toronto: Netflix Acquires Elizabeth Olsen-Starrer 'Kodachrome'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  4. ^ CS (March 20, 2018). "Netflix April 2018 Movie and TV Titles Announced". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kodachrome (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Kodachrome Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 24, 2018.

External links[edit]