If you're after a hidden gem on Netflix you could do a whole lot worse than watching Kodachrome. Starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), Dennis Haysbert (Secret Obsession) and Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision) this is the story of an estranged father and son and their one last trip together before time runs out.
The film is based on A.G. Sulzberger's 2010 New York Times article “For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas”. Matt Ryder (Sudeikis) is hanging on to his job by a thread as a record company A&R representative. His latest client has jumped ship and his days are numbered. If he can sign the ‘Spare Sevens' he gets to stay employed. However, getting a meeting with them is proving very tricky.
In the midst of his career spiraling, Matt is approached by Zooey Kern. She is a private nurse and works for his father Ben. Ben is a world-renowned photographer and he is dying. Having not spoken to him in over 10 years, Matt really couldn't care less. But Zooey persuades him to at least come to the house for dinner.
Matt learns that Ben wants him to drive them all to Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas. It is the last shop that develops Kodachrome film and Ben has several rolls he wants to have processed before he dies. Kodak has stopped making the special dyes needed and if they don't make it by a certain day, the photographs will never get developed.
Despite not wanting to go, Matt agrees because along the way he can meet the ‘Spare Sevens' and convince them to sign with his label. But of course, there is more to the story than that. Kodachrome is a beautifully crafted story about family and relationships with excellent performances from all of the cast.
Ed Harris is particularly good as a man fully aware of all of his failings yet almost incapable of any kindness. Having been consumed by his art for most of his life, his imminent death is the catalyst for finding some redemption. But is all too little too late?
Kodachrome doesn't offer anything particularly unique in terms of story but it is so charming that you can't help but be moved by it. Well acted, well scripted, well made, and well worth watching.