All About Nina follows a struggling comic as she heads to the sunnier side of the US to seek out Comedy Prime. With an excellent performance Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nina attempts to keep it together despite many hurdles and depressing situations. She's a complete mess and attempts to find a proper balance for her comedy career while living a more regular life. It can be difficult to do both and she's not the type of person to really care for others.
This all changes when a mysterious older man Rafe (Common) enters the scene being a solid. I felt this performance was certainly weaker than Winstead's almost being too relaxed and bored here. It's definitely an experience for the older audience with many sexual scenes and material that was representative of that. Material of course being her stand-up routine. The first few minutes actually give a really good indication of the attitude and themes that are upcoming throughout the film.
All About Nina was well shot with many intense visual scenes and unique locations. The balance of stand-up against regular living was interesting and it was definitely focused on her life. There were other characters with various issues, but it was heavily focused on the lead.
They had some great side characters aside from Rafe that each had their own niche personalities that led towards some laughs. The comedy was good for the most part providing laughs while still having a silencing effect when the moment called for it. It was weird, but a good look at relationships and a broken individual looking for something better while trying to be better as a person.
All About Nina is a solid look at an individual with crippling problems that's just trying to make it with one excellent performance. Mary Elizabeth Winstead really delivers here bringing the attitude while still being vulnerable when it matters. There were striking moments throughout and some good laughs.
The material she provided while on stage was usually funny with the impersonations portion being a stand out. It's a good look at living and trying to get something better against the backdrop of a person that has had a shattered past. There were strong moments and some weaker ones. The pacing could have been a bit better at times, though for the most part this is a solid viewing.
All About Nina Review at Theater with Standard Viewing during Calgary Film Festival
Screening Provided by Calgary Film