There's nothing particularly startling or new in the script by Siegel and his co-writers Lisa Bazadona and Grace Woodard - except that it, refreshingly, draws its characters in real-life shades of gray.
Some of the plot points are confusingly vague, the tone lurches wildly between genres, and the film's epilogue pushes the bounds of believability - but The Hard Word could never be accused of being predictable.
An exploration of the way the sins of the father trickle down to his offspring, is dense with quirky characters and subplots all woven into a rather heavy-handed meditation on the evils of globalization.
McCann weaves in a somewhat toothless condemnation of a bureaucracy that forsakes the mentally ill, but Revolution # 9 works better as an inside look at one person's slide into madness -- and, more particularly, the impact of that on his loved ones.
Essentially an hour-long monologue, but this talking head is so engaging that you can't blame director Lech Kowalski's camera for not wanting to stray from the late Dee Dee Ramone's party-ravaged face.
Lacking a solid narrative beyond the worsening marital crisis, this humor-flecked domestic drama ends up relying heavily on directorial tricks such as splashes of magic realism, giving it a self-satisfied air that quickly becomes grating.
Apart from some irritating and redundant camera tricks early on in the film, director Blair Treu plays it white-bread straight, delivering an uncommonly inoffensive, after-school-special-style teen flick.