For popular, indie filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, who has built up a reputation thanks to his unique means of storytelling, and the ability to realise that vision on screen, evident in Funny Ha Ha and Computer Chess – a move into the mainstream did always seem like something of an inevitability. His latest picture Results, which has his most recognised cast to date, and only endeavour featuring professional actors, is that very picture – and fans of the talented auteur will be pleased to know that Bujalski has still maintained that appealing sense of intimacy, as a film that is as darkly comic and brilliantly subtle as his preceding productions.

At Power 4 Life gym – run by the robotic, idealistic nutritionist Trevor (Guy Pearce), a new member has just signed on – the relatively unfit, affluent bachelor Danny (Kevin Corrigan) who wants to build up some strength and get his life back on the right path following a messy break-up with his ex-wife. Kat (Cobie Smulders) is assigned as his personal trainer, and he takes a liking to her instantly – though not realising that by doing so, he’s interfering with a tumultuous, pre-existing romance between the trainer and her boss.

Results is a remarkably simplistic production, and it’s refreshing to see a filmmaker play on the notion of understatement. There are only three substantial characters within this picture, discounting the cameo appearances from Giovani Ribisi as the stoner lawyer Paul. However in spite of the low-key nature, there is so many layers to each differing dynamic amongst these three protagonists, that the viewer remains absorbed in this narrative throughout. Each character is so well-crafted, as nuanced creations with such distinct idiosyncrasies, and yet all so subtly implemented.

There’s a poignancy that derives from their respective, similar personality traits – that they’re all somewhat pathetic, in an endearing way. But they’re believable and authentic, which is perhaps why it’s so sad, as we can see shades of ourselves in these characters, albeit heightened for dramatic affect in parts. They’re all on the road to nowhere – in spite of the fact their demeanours from the outside would suggest otherwise, but internally, they’re not in a happy place. All of Trevor’s pro-life spiel is contrived and what he preaches is effectively aimed back at himself, whether he likes to admit it or not.

In fact, the only character that is seemingly aware of their own inefficiencies and imperfections, is Danny – which brings out a remarkably impressive performance from Corrigan. So rarely a leading man and often consigned to mere supporting roles – he’s proven his worth in this production, with such a vulnerability to his demeanour, and yet a cold side, where you feel he’s capable of being vindictive and nasty – but the actor keeps you on side throughout. In fact, the one stand out shortcoming within this title is how his narrative gets pushed aside in the latter stages, as he carries the emotional elements and when we deviate carelessly away, our attention regretfully waivers.