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Showing Up Is Mundane, Boring, and Quite Dull

Showing Up is a film about being an adult and living a mediocre life. But as someone who lives that life every day, it ends up being quite boring and dull.

showing up movie review

Showing Up focuses on a few days in the life of a struggling artist named Lizzy played by Michelle Williams. All of those around her are successful and she feels stuck. She works at an art school, her mother is her boss, and her hot water hasn’t been working for weeks. Not to mention her brother’s mental health issues.

All of this with a show coming up and she is very much overwhelmed. When her cat attacks a pigeon, only for her landlord, coworker, and sometimes friend Jo (played by Hong Chau) to take it in, she is now straddled with the responsibility of taking care of it the majority of the time. 

Life is not great for Lizzy. In fact, even with all of this chaos going on, it is quite boring. Which is, unfortunately, what the film ends up being as well. 

showing up movie review

Nothing Ever Really Happens

The biggest issue with this movie is that it has an entertaining plot. There are many times where this movie could have exceled and risen to the next level. However, it just takes the audience through the mundane life of Lizzy, who is frumpy and quiet. Even when there are interesting things happening around her, the storyline never dive into them enough to take the viewers out of the nothingness.

There is one moment towards the end when you will think yes, finally something tumultuous and intriguing is about to happen. But then… it just doesn’t and Showing Up ends. Every time it seems like the big moment is coming, it fades just as quickly as it shows up and we are once again left to the boring and dullness of Showing Up

It is a shame because it gets so close, so many times, but it never amounts to anything. Lizzy and her brother’s relationship is another misstep. There is a lot of potential there and it could have really added something wonderful and important to the story. Instead it feels breezed over, as does most of the interesting parts of the film.

The best part of Showing Up is the art. There are a whole lot of different mediums that are on display and it reminds you that there is so much to art that you never think about and it is beautiful to look at.

showing up movie review

Overall Thoughts

Showing Up is one of those movies that wants to say a lot while showing very little and unfortunately it is not to its benefit. While the message about feeling down when it seems like everyone around you is succeeding is there, the vessel is far too slow and dull.

Even with a shorter runtime that clocks in at less than two hours, this film feels like it drags on and on to the point where some viewers might lose interest and drift off to sleep (one actually did during my screening).

The movie isn’t all bad, it certainly has some great moments. At times it is funny, others sad, and Michelle Williams does what she can with what she is given. She plays a boring, frumpy, artist and that is exactly why the movie is just that… boring.

There is one hundred percent an audience for this film…it’s just not me.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

NEXT: The Whale Review (2022 Movie)

showing up movie poster

About Showing Up

A sculptor (Michelle Williams) preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt’s vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art and craft.

Showing Up hits theaters on April 7th.