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Friday, July 28, 2017

Landline (SIFF 2017) - Movie Review



The Movie: Landline

The Director: Gillian Robespierre

The Cast: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, and Finn Wittrock

The Story: In 1995, a teenager living with her sister and parents in Manhattan discovers that her father is having an affair.


The Review:
Every year, there are a handful of film festival movies that, for me, come out of nowhere and just blow me away and this year Landline will definitely be on that list. If Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child) keeps making movies like this, she is going to end up being a very successful director. She seems to have a knack for creating a perfect balance of comedy and drama in a way that is so honest and endearing, you can't help but to feel some sort of personal attachment to the story. The characters she comes up with, alongside co-writer Elisabeth Holm, are so true to life in how naturally flawed they are and the performances she gets from her cast are about as authentic as you will find.


Speaking of the cast, I was really impressed with both Jenny Slate, who also stared in Obvious Child, and Abby Quinn who delivers a powerhouse performance as Jenny's younger sister in the movie. They play off of each other so well and you really feel like that have known each other their whole lives even though they were only together for the extremely efficient 20 day shooting schedule. Along with the two leading ladies, we are also treated to performances from Edie Falco and John Turturro who is about as good in this movie as I have ever seen him. Throw in Finn Wittrock and Jay Duplass and this is an extremely well thought out casting job turned in by the creative team.


The Verdict:
"I'm flailing. I'm just trying to find out if the life I've picked for myself is even the one that I want and I don't even know if I'm allowed to ask that question."

By the time Jenny Slate delivers that line, you will have completely, 100% bought into how special of a movie this is. The premise is pretty straight forward with family and fidelity, or lack thereof, at its core but what makes Landline truly special is the unexpected honesty that fills every moment and the whole thing is just a brilliant mix of laughter and tears that will leave you wanting to hug everyone involved.


TwoOhSix Interviews: Gillian Robespierre, Abby Quinn, and Jenny Slate.

TwoOhSix Best of SIFF 2017: Best Narrative Feature, Best Director

Landline is an official selection of the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.





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