Think you've had a rough week? This movie will change that.
By
1 May 2014 - 2:47 PM  UPDATED 18 Jun 2020 - 3:28 PM

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell has a more dramatic role than usual in Everything Must Go. This has the effect of messing with your head because he has such a big comedy presence as a result of Anchorman and Blades of Glory and many other films that you keep expecting him to break into his shtick. It makes the experience of watching a little unsettling, but interestingly so. He gives marriage advice – he’s been married more than a decade – and discusses here how people are often surprised to find him so normal.

The set-up

Almost as soon as the film starts the lead character of Nick is sacked by the company that has employed him for 16 years. In quick succession he’s thrown out of home by his wife, has his car repossessed and loses access to his money. It’s a great set up and the story is really about what happens next.

 

Watch the trailer

 

It’s compassionate

Nick stuffs up because of his struggle with alcohol, not because he’s a bad person and the film’s ultimate appeal is that it’s a compassionate portrait of someone who is easy to identify with.

The coyote

Through much of the film Nick lives on his front lawn while selling all his possessions in a ‘yard sale’ – the American term for garage sale. Hence the title, Everything Must Go. The most desirable item at that sale is the stuffed coyote and according to this interview with Will Ferrell at the Toronto International Film Festival, I’m not alone in thinking that.

The supporting cast

Particularly watch for Rebecca Hall from Vicky Cristina Barcelona, playing the neighbour, and Christopher Wallace, son of the rapper Biggie Smalls, playing Nick’s wise little buddy Kenny.

Ferrell and co. keep it real

Writer/director Dan Rush has said that he and Will Ferrell regularly asked each other whether Everything Must Go was “a drama with comedic moments or a comedy with dramatic moments” but decided it didn’t matter as long as it felt real. From an audience perspective, it doesn’t matter either because what they made is a gentle, thoughtful, entertaining film.

 

Watch 'Everything Must Go'

Wednesday 24 June, 7:40pm on SBS World Movies (now streaming at SBS On Demand)

M
USA, 2010
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Dan Rush
Starring: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Michael Peña, Laura Dern
What's it about?
The story of Nick Halsey (Ferrell), a career salesman whose days of being on top are long gone. The same day Nick gets fired, for falling off the wagon one last time, he returns home to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks on their suburban home and dumped all of his possessions on the front lawn. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line—or more properly, on the lawn—reluctantly holding a garage sale that becomes a unique strategy for survival. Based on a short story by author Raymond Carver (Short Cuts).

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
SBS On Demand brings you top-quality films for Refugee Week
Let's honour the stories of refugees all around the world, in a collection curated by the Immigration Museum.
Five Faves: ‘Lantana’ director Ray Lawrence picks what to watch in isolation
Need some help deciding what to watch while you’re stuck at home? We ask Australian directors, whose films are streaming at SBS On Demand, for five movie recommendations.
You'll have the best seat in the house for the 'Sydney Film Festival Selects' collection at SBS On Demand
A free movie collection curated by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley. Now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Mark Reconciliation Week with these Australian films at SBS On Demand
Celebrate history and storytelling in National Reconciliation Week (May 27 – June 3).
Get your heart racing with the thriller collection at SBS On Demand
Grab some popcorn and a blanket to hide behind for when the pressure and intensity gets too much. The SBS On Demand thriller collection is here to get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Just remember to breathe.
Movies Leaving SBS On Demand: June
Don't miss your chance to watch these standout movies and documentaries leaving SBS On Demand this month.