CINEQUEST 2022 REVIEW! Colin West’s sci-fi drama, Linoleum, is one of those stories that take you pretty deep into the life of its protagonist before spinning everything on its head. Jim Gaffigan stars as Cameron, a failing children’s science show host. Sadly, like his job, Cameron’s life is falling apart as well. He’s in the beginning stages of a divorce from his wife, Erin (Rhea Seehorn), and his daughter, Nora (Katelyn Nacon), has very little respect for him.
While dropping off some mail, a car falls out of the sky, and behind the wheel is famed astronaut Kent Armstrong (also played by Jim Gaffigan). Kent arrives in town to take over Cameron’s television show and brings with him his son, Marc (Gabriel Rush). The boy strikes up a close friendship with Nora as Cameron takes on a more fatherly role with him.
Everything changes when a rocket engine falls out of the sky. After the government investigates the crash and declares the crash zone safe, Cameron decides to hell with everything and rebuilds it with the help of his aging father, Mac (Roger Hendricks Simon). Cameron undertakes this seemingly foolhardy endeavor to finally fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut.
“Everything changes when a rocket engine falls out of the sky.”
The story of Linoleum is about reconnection. For Cameron, this pipe dream of going to space is the catalyst he needs to reconnect with the people in his life who have slowly drifted away… which is everyone. Finding his passion once again to fulfill his childhood dream breathes new life into Cameron, and his crazy dream may not be so crazy after all.
But, before you know it, everything changes as writer/director West’s film becomes a heartfelt and touching movie about finding joy and fulfillment in life. Gaffigan shines as Cameron and presents a different side of himself in Kent. Essentially, Jim Gaffigan plays polar opposites of himself. Cameron is jovial, curious, and optimistic as hell. On the other hand, Kent is controlling, methodical, and downright abusive to his son. His performance feels like they took his stand-up act and made it a quirky drama.
Honestly, there’s not much I can say about the ending to Linoleum, but its one you need to experience for yourself. Where the first two acts tell an offbeat and strange story, the final act comes out of the blue and ties everything up in a hope-filled and tear-inducing way.
"…a heartfelt and touching movie about finding joy and fulfillment in life."