Windfall is sadly a missed opportunity that collects a trio of fantastic actors—Jason Segel, Lilly Collins, Jesse Plemons—and wastes them. Co-written and directed by Charlie McDowell, I could not shake the feeling that something was missing. Three nameless characters reflect the minimal amount of effort that feels poured into Windfall. This crime thriller is lacking in the thrills department, content to merely coast along on the star power of its cast.
We start with Nobody (Segel), an apparently homeless man who has taken up shelter at the home of a tech billionaire. Relaxing by the pool, picking apples, admiring sculptures, and generally lounging around are a blast for Nobody; that is, until CEO (Plemons) and his wife Wife (Collins) come back home unexpectedly. The laziness of the naming convention to these characters annoyed me right off the bat, and serves as a blocker for any sort of audience attachment.
CEO and Wife are taken by surprise almost immediately at Nobody’s presence in their home. They seem willing to do almost anything he wants of them (including gifting him thousands of dollars) if only he will leave them be. Nobody does not trust these leeches one bit, particularly CEO. As the day progresses, the situation grows increasingly more complicated by the second. Marital tensions rise to the surface as Nobody serves to stir the pot while holding them up with a gun they’re not even sure is loaded.
My main issue with Windfall is that there is no real threat, stakes, or tension apart from the presence of a gun up until the last twenty minutes. The movie feels completely unbalanced and lacking narrative thrust as a result. The ending is also abrupt and unsatisfying, leaving the viewer wondering why they bothered wasting their time in the first place. This is one exponentially talented crew of people, making it extra puzzling to me why the end result is beyond muddled.
Windfall debuts exclusively to Netflix on Friday, March 18th.