Will Ferrell’s favoured style of performance is certainly an acquired taste, his tendency towards the extreme (even within the confines of his role) often irritates, and he seems, for me at least, an actor best served in small doses.
In Everything Must Go, Ferrell appears to leave behind his indomitably crass manner, replacing it with a far more reserved approach. As a man whose relapse into alcoholism causes the loss of his job and the separation from his wife, Ferrell’s ability to truly emote and create empathy will surely be sorely tested.
Certainly remnants of his comedic manner remain, but Everything Must Go could be Ferrell’s chance to prove himself as a capable dramatic actor. If so, Ferrell wouldn’t be the first comedic actor to successfully make the transition to dramatic acting: Jim Carrey has proven himself to be especially capable; his performances in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were wonderful performances in their own right.
With a cast that includes the ever-impressive Rebecca Hall, Everything Must Go appears promising, as ever only the final-cut will prove the film’s ability to deliver.