The Accountant, Film Review. Picturehouse@F.A.C.T, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7.5/10

Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jean Smart, John Lithgow, Andy Umberger, Jason Davis, Robert C. Treveiler, Mary Kraft, Ron Prather, Susan Williams, Fernado Chien, Alex Collins.

Anybody can make a film it seems where the protagonist has a deep dark past, something in their history that has driven them to the point in which the audience joins them in the carnage, mayhem and resolution to come; anybody and everybody has made a film in which the leading role or the anti-hero has a quirk, a certain eccentricity that makes them stand out but rarely do they do it such a way that the characteristics of autism are made to be so dynamic and fully mapped out, explored in a way that the hero is anything but fulfilled and given absolute purpose.

There have been many films that deal with the nature of autism and many more that have delved deeper than many will ever hope to understand what makes people with this condition so special, so in touch with a part of their psyche that others cannot even empathise with them. The Accountant takes the premise a little further, a way down the road in which to understand the restrictions and the free will of honesty that comes hand in hand with their view on the world.

To take on the role might draw criticism but Ben Affleck plays the part of Christian Wolff well, the man to whom numbers play a keen part in his genetic make-up and who was steered by an over-zealous father into toughening up, into making sure he wasn’t bullied for his perceived differences, and it is to his time on screen and in the relationship he strikes up with Anna Kendrick’s Dana Cummings and the appearance of J.K. Simmons as the ageing Federal Investigator that really makes the film come alive, even if it at times it might grate and the point of the story lose its way.

It is hard to truly capture anyone’s uniqueness on screen, the celluloid being too flat to feel the true depth of emotion, unless portrayed in the vein of the universally distinguished Dustin Hoffman, but Ben Affleck covers the ground well and makes The Accountant worthy of the audience’s time.

Ian D. Hall