It's been a whole decade since Braff unleashed his saccharine music-video-as-movie on audiences, and in I Wish I Was Here, it looks like he's revisiting many of the same tropes he relied on back then: slow motion, sentimentality, and The Shins. If you recall, Braff almost single-handedly made the band a "thing" when he and Natalie Portman bonded over its music in Garden State, and here he gives the indie poppers center stage once again. Hopefully they gave Braff a good deal on licensing, because the 39-year-old filmmaker was forced to fund his latest effort on Kickstarter.
Braff raised $3.1 million on the crowd-funding site, but was met with criticism when he then pulled the rest of his $5 million budget from a more traditional financier. Independent filmmakers who rely on sites like Kickstarter were miffed at Braff for having his cake and proceeding to eat it, too.
I Wish I was Here, which also stars Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, and Mandy Patinkin, premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, and was snatched up by Focus Features for just over half its budget. Let the Braffonaissance begin.