Middle of Nowhere (2012)

Middle of Nowhere
Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Omari Hardwick, Edwina Findley, Sharon Lawrence, Lorraine Toussaint, David Oyelowo
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) has devoted her life to her husband Derek (Omari Hardwick). She gave up medical school to be able to be near him and only counts the days until he gets out. But after four years of imprisonment, Derek is a changed man and he might still have another four years of incarceration to go. When his parole hearing is coming up, putting Ruby under further financial strain to hire a lawyer, things get even tenser. That’s when Ruby meets bus driver Brian (David Oyelowo) with whom she connects. Now Ruby has to start making decisions for her own life and not the lives of others.

Middle of Nowhere is a calm, slow film that doesn’t tell a grand story of world-shaking events but rather shows the everyday difficulties Ruby and women in her position face which is a very important thing to do and to see. It’s beautifully done, touching, excellent film.

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Your Sister’s Sister (2011)

Your Sister’s Sister
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mike Birbiglia
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Ever since his brother Tom’s death, Jack (Mark Duplass) has been off, continuously spiraling out of control. So his best friend and Tom’s ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt) orders him a time-out. Alone. In the family cabin. But when Jack arrives there, Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is also there, recuperating after a break-up with her girlfriend. To overcome the initial weirdness, the two of them get drunk together and promptly sleep with each other – only to be surprised by Iris the next morning. As all of them have something they’re hiding, they go through all the shades of awkwardness together.

I have seen three Lynn Shelton movies so far and I honestly loved all of them. I would be hard-pressed to say which one was my favorite. As with the other films, Your Sister’s Sister combines issues and emotional content with a light, sweet sense of humor. I could have watched it for hours more.

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In a World… (2013)

In a World…
Director: Lake Bell
Writer: Lake Bell
Cast: Lake BellFred Melamed, Michaela Watkins, Demetri Martin, Rob CorddryAlexandra HoldenTalulah Riley, Jason O’Mara, Ken Marino, Eva Longoria, Nick Offerman, Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Carol (Lake Bell), daughter of the famous trailer narrator Sam (Fred Melamed), has been dreaming of narrating trailers herself. But women just don’t do that – all movie trailers are narrated by men. So she struggles along with dialect coaching. Until one day she by chance gets to substitute for Gustav (Ken Marino), new star of the trailer voice over world. Despite the hostility from a lot of men around her, that was just the opening she needed to carve out a space for herself and female voices.

In a World… was funny, sweet, smart and feminist. I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

inaworld

[SPOILERS]

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Humpday (2009)

[Humpday will be shown today at the Framing Reality film festival in Vienna: 20.30, Filmcasino. They have a focus on Lynn Shelton and Barbara Kopple.]

Humpday
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Ben (Mark Duplass) is happily married with Anna (Alycia Delmore) but their harmonious existence is shaken up by the surprising arrival of Ben’s old friend Andrew (Joshua Leonard). Andrew is an artist and what you’d call a free spirit. And then in drunken night, Ben and Andrew hatch the plan to do an art project together for Humpfest – a porn film festival. But doing porn isn’t easy.

Humpday has got to be one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen. It left me with a huge grin on my face and a spring in my step for the entire day.

humpday

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Touchy Feely (2013)

[Touchy Feely will be shown today at the Framing Reality film festival in Vienna: 20.30, Filmcasino. They have a focus on Lynn Shelton and Barbara Kopple.]

Touchy Feely
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, Tomo Nakayama, Shannon Kipp, Ron Livingston
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a massage therapist who suddenly can’t touch people anymore at all. This severely hampers her relationship wih her boyfriend Jesse (Scoot McNairy) with whom she was about to move in. In the meantime her brother Paul (Josh Pais), a dentist in a floundering clinic, seems to discover that he has a healing touch which he wants to explore with Abby’s friend and reiki practitioner Bronwyn (Allsion Janney). Paul’s daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) who works as his assistant, is slowly suffocating because of both the routine in her life and her love for and need to touch Jesse.

Touchy Feely is a sweet, calm film with a great cast and a good script. It’s enjoyable and smart, even if I’m not all over it.

touchyfeely

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