Billy Crudup (amazing as always) plays Henry Roth, a depressed, anxious children’s book author with a terrible childhood behind him and a need to sleep with heavy Encyclopedia Britannicas on his chest – you know, so he can feel safe. His best friend, professional collaborator and father figure is Rudy Holt, played by an excellent Tom Wilkinson. When Rudy dies, Henry collaborates with a new illustrator (Mandy Moore), with whom he falls in love.
The premise might sound cheesy, and Moore’s character could be further explored – and kept from devolving into one-dimensional by the third act – but the wonderful performances, Theroux’s stylish choices and rhythmic pacing and David Bromberg’s excellent script give viewers more than enough reasons to check out a very cool debut.
Dedication releases in select theaters Aug. 24.