Cameron Edwin (Jim Gaffigan) has always wanted to do something fantastic in Linoleum. Certain people grow up wanting to be professional athletes, others want to be doctors, lawyers, etc. While Cameron did dream of being an astronaut, more importantly, he just wanted to do something fantastic. Luckily, he is married to the perfect woman, Erin (Rhea Seehorn) who also wanted the same. At least she used to when things were simpler.
Now Erin is working at the local air and space museum, a dream job to some, but not to her. Cameron is the host of Above and Beyond – a children’s television show very much following the Bill Nye blueprint. Erin had spent time working on the show, happy times, which are now a distant memory. Their children Sam (Willoughby Pyle) and Nora (Katelyn Nacon) still watch old episodes now and then.
Cameron’s world gets flipped on its head when Kent Armstrong (Jim Gaffigan with a mustache), and his son Marc (Gabriel Rush) move to the neighborhood. Kent is everything that Cameron wanted to be. An astronaut, winner of a prestigious science award, and now taking over his show. Then things get really weird. A car falls from the sky, one that Kent happened to be driving. Then a satellite crashes in the family backyard. All of this coupled with an already strained marriage and talks of divorce and Cameron has had enough. It is time to go back to his roots and do something fantastic, like building a rocket ship from the satellite parts in his backyard.
Colin West both wrote and directed Linoleum. The film is only the second feature length film by West after 2021’s Double Walker. Double Walker saw West pen the screenplay for Sylvie Mix’s story as well as direct. Linoleum is completely West’s brainchild, and an impressive one at that. West manages to both subtlety (and at times blatantly) touch on central themes throughout the film. Yet he does so in a natural way that flows within the narrative. The use of bright lights, certain angles keeping the focus off center, and echoey – almost hypnotic – music help keep you engaged within the film. There is an almost unbalanced feeling, mirroring what Cameron is going through.
The cast all around is fantastic. Gaffigan and Seehorn have you genuinely caring about Cameron and Erin. You instantly see the chemistry between them and can almost feel the magnetism fading. The friendship between Nacon and Rush is a joy to watch blossom and evolve. The performances coupled with a strong script by West lead to a truly memorable experience in Linoleum. West manages to intertwine the perfect blend of Sci-Fi elements with family drama. Just as he does with snippets of Above & Beyond, cleverly showing how principles of science apply in daily life. Linoleum is a powerful film that makes you think long after the credits roll and is absolutely worth a watch.