Nostalgia is not a subtle movie, but it is poetic, handing off the narrative from one character to another like Le Ronde. Through a series of deliberately paced vignettes it explores our attachments to the past and the objects that trigger or hold those memories. It would make an interesting double feature with A Ghost Story, though you might need some extra caffeine to make it through both given their mutual paces. Nostalgia also tackles, to an extent, what that means in a highly digital world. In some ways this movie reminded me strongly of Marjorie Prime, though that may have been in part because Jon Hamm (Baby Driver) is also in this film .
Hamm isn’t the only recognizable face. The cast is full of solid performers. John Ortiz (Going in Style), Ellen Burstyn (The Calling), Catherine Keener (We Don’t Belong Here), Patton Oswalt (Freaks of Nature), Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight), Nick Offerman (A Walk in the Woods), Amber Tamblyn (127 Hours), and Arye Gross, just cover some of it. Each has a moment or two they would be happy to add to their reels, though no one character owns the story.
Director and co-writer Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies) isn’t a likely choice for this project, though perhaps his deep background in documentaries of bands plays into the semi-ethereal structure. To be fair, the movie is probably about 20 minutes too long, but none of it is bad. Even when the script is a bit forced by its lyrical bent, the sentiment remains very real and the questions will resonate for you.