Liza Johnson (2011)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Artist-turned-director Liza Johnson makes a considered debut with the downbeat story of an Ohio reservist who struggles to settle back into her old life on returning from unspecified action overseas. 30-something Kelli (Linda Cardellini) is knocked further off kilter by the discovery that her plumber husband (Michael Shannon) has been unfaithful, and impulsively quits her warehouse job. She must then undergo counselling with a maverick Vietnam veteran (Mad Men's John Slattery) after being charged with drunk driving. While Johnson avoids much of the melodrama that marred Brit Brian Welsh's 2010 civvy street drama In Our Name, things become slightly soapy as Kelli's fitness to raise her daughters and return to the frontline are called into question. But, even though some may find the scenario humdrum and the denouement strained, Johnson's narrative control is as assured as her visual sense. She skilfully captures the dead-end decency that compounds the servicewoman's mix of trauma and frustration.


A soldier returns to her home town after completing a tour of duty, but struggles to adapt to civilian life. Unable to reconnect with family and friends who cannot understand the experiences she has gone through and whose own concerns seem insignificant to her, she must find a way to avoid drifting into isolation. Drama, starring Linda Cardellini and Michael Shannon.

Cast & Crew

Kelli Linda Cardellini
Mike Michael Shannon
Bud John Slattery
Julie Talia Balsam
Ed Paul Sparks
Cara Lee Bonnie Swencionis
Jackie Emma Rayne Lyle
Shannon Louisa Krause
Brooke Rosie Benton
Mr Miller James Murtaugh
Director Liza Johnson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Network ReleasingReleased on: 6 Apr 2012