Toronto 2019: Daddio

Casey Wilson and Michael McKean in Daddio. Courtesy of TIFF.

Daddio stars Casey Wilson and Michael McKean in a short film depicting how father and daughter approach grief differently.

Based on real death events, Paul (Michael McKean) and Abby (Casey Wilson) have very different approaches to loss.  For example, Paul treats his late wife’s funeral as if it were a Hollywood production, requiring another take of Abby’s eulogy.  This doesn’t quite sit well with Abby (or anyone else, I would imagine).  What really shows is what happens a year later.  Abby is clearly suffering in terms of loss.  Meanwhile, Paul acts as if nothing drastic has happened.

An uncomfortable moment comes when friends Andrew (Adam Pally) and Lilly (June Diane Raphael).  Ever the fan of holding a photo in his hand, Paul brought two years worth of developed photos with him.  Unfortunately for Abby, Paul hands him the role with photos of her late mother.  We go from Abby exploding in anger–and rightfully so, I must say–to Paul explaining that he didn’t know what to do when his wife died.  Anyone would probably be within a state of shock in all likelihood.  You just lost someone you’ve loved for G-d only knows how many years.

It is always interesting to see how films mix comedy and drama in their approach to grief.  Because this film is based on a true story, one can’t help but wonder which parts are exaggerated.  Abby is clearly suffering the worst.  We know this because of the state of her apartment and car.

The directorial debut for the Happy Endings and Saturday Night Live veteran couldn’t be more beautiful.  Casey Wilson is already a veteran comedy performer and screenwriter.  I can’t wait to see what she decides to tackle next as a director.

DIRECTOR:  Casey Wilson
SCREENWRITERS:  Laura Kindred, Casey Wilson
CAST:  Michael McKean, Casey Wilson, Adam Pally, June Diane Raphael

Daddio holds its world premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in Short Cuts Program 2.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.