Rudderless

A sensitive performance from Billy Crudup buoys this sincere but ill-conceived drama, the directorial debut of character actor William H. Macy. Crudup plays a divorced father and businessman who falls to pieces after his only son dies in a campus shooting rampage; two years later, living on a boat and working as a housepainter, he discovers a box of song demos the boy recorded, and after he performs one of the tunes at an open mike, an enthusiastic young musician (Anton Yelchin) assembles a rock band around him. If you’ve spent any time in a local music scene, you know this scenario is about as likely as Bob Dylan playing your high school prom, and the story takes an even sharper left turn in the last half hour, raising emotional issues it can’t adequately address. With Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, and Laurence Fishburne.