Sundance starts tomorrow! Every year, the Sundance Institute posts videos of filmmakers discussing their films chosen to be screened for the Sundance Film Festival in their “Meet the Artist” series. I already highlighted a few of these director features for films I want to see at the festival. Here are a couple more videos from this Sundance series:
Touchy Feely (starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Ellen Page): A film about a massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother’s foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his “healing touch.”
…and not necessarily one of my picks of the festival but an interesting one coming from Sundance alum, actress, and first time feature director Lake Bell:
In a World…(starring Lake Bell, Rob Corddry): A film about a struggling vocal coach who propelled by the hubris of her father, the reigning king of movie-trailer voice-over artists, musters the courage to pursue her secret aspiration to be a voice-over star. Unknowingly, she becomes entangled in a web of dysfunction, sexism, unmitigated ego, and pride.
Slowly but surely, I’m still building on my previous list…
61. Someone can only hold you back from a better life if you let them [Smashed] 62. The group of outcasts is the group I want to be in [The Perks of Being a Wallflower] 63. The best men are the ones that stand up for their beliefs [Hunger] 64. Forget about coming up with a plan for anarchy, saying sentences with more than 5 “v” words, it difficult enough for me. Also, a shaved head can be hot. [V is for Vendetta]
I love second chances. Your Sister’s Sister was a movie that I initially kinda dismissed in seeing at this year’s Sundance festival as the synopsis didn’t jump out at me as being anything really new. But throughout the festival and after, I heard some good things about this film which delves into the relationships between three people - two sisters and one of the sister’s best friend. This led me to include this film on my list of what I wanted to see at Tribeca since it seems to be hitting the festival circuit and showed up as a Tribeca selection. I’m so glad I did. I loved Emily Blunt (Iris) in this; she’s plays her conflicted character nicely. I’m glad I got to Rose Dewitt (Hannah) as well as Mark Duplass (Jack) who is the standout, two actors I was not too familiar with. I really liked the pacing of the film, how we slowly began to understand the dynamics of between established relationships - the one between Iris and Hannah and also the one between Iris and Jack - and how that affected the new relationship we witness developed on screen between Hannah and Jack. Your Sister’s Sister (which I think it a very fitting and great choice of a title) ultimately becomes a sweet and sometimes funny tale of becoming unstuck from the past and moving forward. My Grade: B
(SPOILERS) The movie begins with the a memorial of sorts among friends in a living room, a one year commemoration of the lose of Tom. Tom, we learn is Iris’ ex who happens to also be Jack’s brother. We never really learn the circumstances around Tom’s death but that doesn’t really matter. Through the eyes of his friends, he was a martyr, someone who would give up his shirt for someone in need, or more aptly as the one of his friends recalled, his bed so his friend could have sex with a girl. Jack, though, had a different opinion of his late brother, that he was a flawed individual who was slightly manipulative and self-centered. Tom’s friends can’t believe he would bash his dead brother. Jack defends his stance but quickly and sweetly laments how his brother was still the best person he has ever know. This becomes only a tactic to bring down this perfect characterization of Tom, a ghost that he feels he can’t compete with. You see, Jack is in love with Iris, a fact that we infer throughout the movie and is confirmed at the end. Actually, Iris is also in love with Jack, but all this is unspoken and Tom’s ghosts seems to hover between them, keeping them apart.
And then other circumstances threaten to come between them in the form of Iris’ older sister Hannah. At the memorial, Iris, realizing the extent of Jack’s misery over his brother’s death, suggests that he goes up to her family’s cabin for some alone time. There he meets Hannah. While the movie could have revisit a been-there-done-that storyline of a traditional love triangle, it departs from it. Hannah is a lesbian and doesn’t have any real interest in Jack. But after a binge on tequila who they bond over their mutual heartbreak - for her the end of a long-term relationship, they have a (very funny) sexual encounter. Iris comes up to the cabin the next day, obviously in a plan to be alone with Jack and potentially tell him about her feelings. It is through the interactions between these three characters alone in this cabin, that all is reveal in a great stream of drama and emotion. Jack tells Hannah not to say anything about them having sex. Iris tells Hannah for her feelings for Jack, which Hannah never knew about. Jack discovers Hannah poked holes in the condom to get pregnant. Hannah tells Iris about her and Jack and then accidentally reveals Iris’ feelings to Jack. Iris finds out about Hannah’s scheming. Somewhere through all of that though, these three people make it through, demonstrate their great capacity for forgiveness, and discover a unique bond.
Check out the trailer for this film below:
Post-Tribeca To Do List (continued): 5. Watch the Mark Duplass’ (a fellow Louisianian!) film The Puffy Chair 6. Work on my British accent; it always sounds charming