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The Great New Wonderful
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The Great New Wonderful weaves five stories against the backdrop of an anxious and uncertain post-9-11 New York City. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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How a sudden, unnamed shock forced a city to look at itself in the mirror See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order)

Olympia Dukakis ... Judy Hillerman (segment "Judy's Story")

Jim Gaffigan ... Sandie (segment "Sandie's Story")

Judy Greer ... Allison Burbage (segment "David and Allison's Story")

Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Emme Keeler (segment "Emme's Story")

Tom McCarthy ... Davie Burbage (segment "David and Allison's Story")

Sharat Saxena ... Satish (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Naseeruddin Shah ... Avinash aka "Avi" (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Tony Shalhoub ... Dr. Trabulous (segment "Sandie's Story")

Stephen Colbert ... Principal Peersall (segment "David and Allison's Story")

Dick Latessa ... Jerry Binder (segment "Judy's Story")

Will Arnett ... Danny Keeler (segment "Emme's Story")

Seth Gilliam ... Clayton (segment "Emme's Story")

Anita Gillette ... Lainie (segment "Judy's Story")

Julie Dretzin ... Julie Driscoll (segment "Emme's Story")

Edie Falco ... Safarah Polsky (segment "Emme's Story")

Jim Parsons ... Justin (segment "Emme's Story")

Martha Millan ... Alexa (segment "Emme's Story")

Nancy McDoniel ... Agnes Whitehead (segment "Emme's Story")
Fred Burrell ... Wexler Whitehead (segment "Emme's Story")
Jillian Crane ... Crying Woman (segment "Emme's Story")

Mario Polit ... Elvis Cedeno (segment "Emme's Story")

Tony Kushner ... Himself (segment "Emme's Story")

Finnerty Steeves ... Isabelle (segment "Emme's Story")
Priscilla Shanks ... Priscilla Krindel (segment "Emme's Story")
Bernie McInerney ... Duff Krindel (segment "Emme's Story")

Ari Graynor ... Lisa Krindel (segment "Emme's Story")
Kathryn Faughnan ... Karaoke Girl (segment "Emme's Story")
Bill Donner ... Charlie Burbage (segment "David and Allison's Story") (as Billy Donner)
Tom Ford ... Mr. Jeffers (segment "David and Allison's Story)

Zack Wall ... Geography Bee Contestant (segment "David and Allison's Story")

Rosemarie DeWitt ... Debbie (segment "David and Allison's Story")
Kapil Bawa ... General Ganjee (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Eliyas Qureshi ... Head Security Guard (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Rajika Puri ... Sucheta (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Mukesh .C. Patel ... Vijay (Satish's brother-in-law) (segment "Avi and Satish's Story") (as Mukesh M. Patel)
Nikhil Patel ... Bhanu (Satish's son) (segment "Avi and Satish's Story") (as Nikhil M. Patel)
Jyotsna Du Ciel ... Avi's Daughter (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Tonye Patano ... Shirley (Meter Maid) (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")

Alex McCord ... Jessilyn (Lola Hostess) (segment "Avi and Satish's Story")
Moises Castillo Orta ... Tough Teen (segment "Ari and Satish's Story")
Masayasu Nakanishi ... Japanese Tourist (segment "Ari and Satish's Story")

Ed Setrakian ... Henry Hillerman (segment "Judy's Story")

Sam Catlin ... Councilman Blenick (segment "Judy's Story")
Nicky 'Pops' Anest ... Lou

Marilyn Chris ... Phyllis (segment "Judy's Story")

Eric Fleishman ... Water Exercise Instructor (segment "Judy's Story")

David Costabile ... Vending Machine Guy (segment "Sandie's Story")
Alicia Van Couvering ... Girl in Truck (segment "Sandie's Story")
Justin Rosen ... Boy in Truck (segment "Sandie's Story")
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kimberly Asa ... School principal

Alexis Dziena ... Angie (scenes deleted)
Tony Galtieri ... Waiter
Nadir Hasan ... Restaurant Patron
Matthew Seife ... Boisterous Tourist Family

Parthiban Shanmugam ... Under cover agent
Joseph M. Abbott ... Man in Park (uncredited)

Orlagh Cassidy ... Flirty Woman (uncredited)

Michael Den Dekker ... Cafe Patron (uncredited)
Mike Dressel ... Young Teacher (uncredited)
Adrianna White Eagle ... Girl Looking Down School Hallway (uncredited)

Brian Kirchoff ... Actor (uncredited)
Michie Madison ... Theatregoer (uncredited)

Dominick Mancino ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
K'Dee Miller ... Rhonda (uncredited)

Meredith Ostrom ... Anita (uncredited)

Farrah Peskoff ... Girl in Pigtails (uncredited)

Dawn Ressy ... Train Passenger (uncredited)

Emily Anila Shah ... Avi's Daughter (segment "Avi and Satish's Story) (uncredited)
Namrata Shah ... Avi's Daughter (segment "Avi and Satish's Story) (uncredited)

Jeremy Shamos ... Young Rabbi (uncredited)

Directed by
Danny Leiner 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Sam Catlin  written by

Produced by
Victor Bardack .... executive producer (as Vic Bardack)
Michael Hoffman .... executive producer
C.C. Lagator .... executive producer
Danny Leiner .... producer
Damon Martin .... executive producer
Lila Mirochin .... associate producer
Michael Nozik .... executive producer
Amy Robinson .... executive producer
Gary Rubin .... executive producer
Jesse Scolaro .... co-producer
Nick Goodwin Self .... co-producer
Raj Singh .... executive producer
Daniel Swee .... co-producer
Matt Tauber .... producer
Leslie Urdang .... producer
Allison Wolf .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Swihart 
Cinematography by
Harlan Bosmajian (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Frazen 
Casting by
Daniel Swee 
Production Design by
Laura Ballinger 
Art Direction by
Tyler Q. Rosen 
Set Decoration by
Kate Foster 
Costume Design by
Alysia Raycraft 
Makeup Department
Tom Brumberger .... hair stylist: Ms. Dukakis
Tom Brumberger .... makeup artist: Ms. Dukakis
Persefone Karakosta .... key hair stylist
Persefone Karakosta .... key makeup artist
Brenna Scarrott .... additional hair stylist
Brenna Scarrott .... additional makeup artist
Joanna Stewart .... assistant hair stylist
Joanna Stewart .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Seth Eisman .... production supervisor
Patrick Huber .... production assistant
Joe Leonard .... post-production supervisor
Doug Torres .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bruce Hall .... first assistant director: second unit
Bruce Hall .... second second assistant director
Kathleen E. Kearney .... second assistant director
Doug Torres .... first assistant director
Art Department
Hillary Baldwin .... set dresser
Fay Chang .... set dresser
Erin Diebol .... set dresser
Katie Dillon .... set dresser (as Katie Dillan)
Maus Drechsler .... property master (as Ana Katharina Drechsler)
Ana Katharina Dreschsler .... property master
Eduardo Garabal .... assistant property master
Shelley Herbert .... additional props
Sean Marks .... set dresser
Jennifer Massi .... set dresser
Don O'Reilly .... additional art director (as Donald O'Reilly)
Tanya Preminger .... set dresser
Paula Raymond .... set dresser
Richard Rogers .... set dresser
Justin Rosen .... art production assistant
Justin Rosen .... lead man
Ry Russo-Young .... set dresser (as Ry Russo Young)
Gela Zefira .... assistant property master
Tomas Zeman .... set dresser
Sound Department
Joshua Anderson .... additional sound mixer
Joshua Anderson .... boom operator
Sarah F. Badiee .... adr editor (as Sarah Badiee)
Dominic Bartolini .... adr recordist
Andrew Bellware .... additional sound mixer
Kevin Bowe .... additional boom operator
Michael Brown .... foley mixer
Gary Coppola .... foley mixer (as Gary J. Coppola)
Gary Coppola .... re-recording mixer (as Gary J. Coppola)
Alexandra Gallo .... additional boom operator
Kenneth Hassell .... additional boom operator
Dean Hurley .... sound editor
Jeff Kushner .... sound designer (as Jeffrey A. Kushner)
Jeff Kushner .... supervising sound editor (as Jeffrey A. Kushner)
Tim H. Lee .... adr mixer
Bryant Musgrove .... additional boom operator
Shannon Potter .... foley artist
Trevor Reed .... sound effects editor
Griffin Richardson .... sound mixer
Gabriel Sanders .... additional boom operator
Mike Shear .... sound effects editor
Edward M. Steidele .... foley artist (as Edward Steidele)
Jose Torres .... additional sound mixer
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
David Warburton .... post facility coordinator
Visual Effects by
Ian Vertovec .... digital colorist
Manny Siverio .... stunt coordinator
Jeff Ward .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
John Anctil .... swing
Quarry Bastfield .... best boy electric (as Quarry Basfield)
Bob Behrens .... camera intern
Manuel Billeter .... camera operator: "b" camera
Manuel Billeter .... director of photography: second unit
Manuel Billeter .... first assistant camera
Ethan Borsuk .... second assistant camera
Steven Capitano Calitri .... key grip
Matthew Caton .... swing
Othmar Dickbauer .... camera engineer (as Othmar Dickbaur)
Avra Fox .... swing
Fernando Gayesky .... second assistant camera
Abbot Genser .... still photographer
Shawn Greene .... gaffer
Adam Hall .... best boy grip
Nina Kuhn .... swing
Robert McKenna .... additional camera operator
Jessica Miglio .... additional still photographer
Ron Morales .... best boy electric
Mike Morini .... grip
Mike Morini .... swing
Allesandra Petlin .... additional still photographer
Daniel Sharnoff .... camera intern (as Dan Sharnoff)
Julianna Thomas .... additional still photographer
Kenny Trice .... additional still photographer
Casting Department
Lois J. Drabkin .... casting associate
Jimmy Floyd .... extras casting
Jacob Gitzis .... extras casting
Eddie Gutch .... extras casting assistant
Sheila Jaffe .... casting consultant: Serenade Films
Kristen McTigue .... casting associate
Kristie Sessions .... extras casting assistant
Charlotte Wanberg .... casting intern (as Charlotte Manning)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marygrace Brennan .... wardrobe intern (as Mary Grace Brennan)
Amy Clark .... assistant costume designer
Catherine Osborne .... wardrobe supervisor
Melissa Ross .... assistant costume designer
Lea Umberger .... wardrobe intern
Belinda Yee .... wardrobe intern
Editorial Department
Michael Cioni .... digital intermediate post supervisor
Jake Cohen .... first assistant editor (as Jacob Cohen)
J.P. Impastato .... post-production assistant
Joe Leonard .... second assistant editor
Jesse Tushinsky .... assistant editor: opening titles
Ian Vertovec .... colorist
Ian Vertovec .... on-line editor
Chris Wong .... second assistant editor
Christopher C.C. Wong .... assistant editor
Kai Wu .... assistant post-production coordinator
Location Management
Olivia Byun .... location intern
Kat Donahue .... assistant location manager
Denyse R. Jones .... location intern
Chris Marsh .... location manager (as Christopher Marsh)
Danny O'Brien .... location assistant
Music Department
Michael Baber .... music editor (as Mike Baber)
Adam Blau .... assistant to composer
Adam Blau .... musician: piano
Mari Cuney .... musician: violin
Peter Gordon .... musician: flute and clarinet
Aram Mandossian .... composer intern
Greg Morgenstein .... score engineer
John Swihart .... musician: guitar and upright bass
Robin Urdang .... music supervisor
Other crew
Nicholas Allen .... additional set production assistant (as Nick Allen)
Ami Armstrong .... creative executive: Serenade Films
Georgia Boyce .... office intern
Margaret Braun .... cakes designer
J.C. Bridges .... parking production assistant
Robert Broden .... on-set medic
Eric M. Brooks .... legal counsel: Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal & La Violette, Sky Dog Films
Amy Chang .... office intern
Kira Cohen .... assistant: Mr. Tauber
Nicholas Coles .... additional set production assistant
Tom Collier .... legal counsel: Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal & La Violette, Sky Dog Films (as Thomas B. Coillier)
Carol A. Compton .... script clearance researcher: IndieClear
Christianne Cook .... craft service
Gabrielle Cran .... assistant: Ms. Robinson
Tim DeYoung .... assistant: Mr. Leiner
Rebecca Ehrhardt .... production coordinator
Massoumeh Emami .... script supervisor
Marta Forns-Escudé .... key production assistant
Carol Frances .... production banking: City National Bank
Nitin Gambhir .... translator: Hindi
Davina Gazo .... office intern
Laurie Gershon .... product placement and clearances
Traci-Ann Gibson .... office intern
Avi Glijansky .... set production assistant
Johan Grimm .... office intern (as Johann Grimm)
Amy Gunzenhauser .... distribution consultant
Esme Haddock .... craft service
Patrick Huber .... set production assistant
Todd James .... advisory board: Serenade Films
Sarah Kramer .... additional set production assistant
Geoff Linville .... production executive: Serenade Films (as Geoffrey Linville)
Brian Mackey .... additional set production assistant
Shelly Madeja .... set production assistant (as Shelley Madeja)
Jacquie Mitchell .... production banking: City National Bank
Derek Pastures .... parking coordinator
Kia Perry .... craft service
Michael A. Price .... advisory board: Serenade Films
Daniel Rbibo .... insurance services: AON/Albert G. Ruben
Michele Robertson .... publicist
Safwan Salaam .... parking production assistant
Stephen Scharf .... advisory board: Serenade Films
Stephen Scharf .... legal counsel: O'Melveny and Myers
Sloane Schneier .... office intern
Madhavi Singh .... translator: Hindi
Raj Singh .... advisory board: Serenade Films
Maggie Slavonic .... title designer: end titles
Kim Tobash .... on-set tutor
Brandi Tufenkjian .... assistant production coordinator
Jesse Tushinsky .... assistant title editor
Adriano Valle .... set production assistant
Collin Warhaftig .... office intern
Julia Wells .... assistant to producers: Serenade Films (as Julia C. Wells)
Anthony Wright .... additional set production assistant
Lang Yee .... production accountant
Kevin Kline .... special thanks
Annie Leibovitz .... special thanks
Susan Michals .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some sexuality
USA:87 min (Tribeca Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

WILHELM SCREAM: Heard on TV.See more »
Factual errors: Avi says that the Mall of America in Minneapolis is the largest mall in the world. Actually, at the time of the store, CentralWorld Mall in Thailand is larger, opening in 1990.See more »
[last lines]
Sandie - Dr. Trabulous' patient:I think I'm lost.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Matrix (1999)See more »


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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
How a sudden, unnamed shock forced a city to look at itself in the mirror, 22 June 2006
Author: Kevin Ivers from United States

The appearance of "United 93" and "The Great New Wonderful" at around the same time is a very fitting artistic take on the impact of 9/11 on the hearts and minds of Americans. So many other films have cropped up here and there, nearly all of them heartless polemical tirades from various points of view, which I think reflected more on feelings and opinions that existed before 9/11 and merely used the tragedy as a vehicle.

While "United 93" was a monument to the victims of 9/11, and how they faced down the human and political significance of that morning, "The Great New Wonderful" is a reflection of how the rest of us live with the personal, emotional aftermath of that day, whether we had a direct connection to the events or not.

"The Great New Wonderful" will probably be the only film dubbed a '9/11 movie' which didn't resort to any melodramatic exposition from that day to make its point. No flaming towers, no cheap-and-easy "my brother, the fireman who died/my sister, who was in Tower 1/my father, the cop...." plot devices. It vividly demonstrates the emotional, collateral role that 9/11 played in the lives of tens of millions of Americans who lived through that day and were shaken and transformed in ways that were too personal to articulate to others or themselves.

Beyond the film's calendar setting and the concluding moments which take place at about 9am on September 11, 2002, there is only one oblique reference to the attacks impacting a character directly, hidden among the films many humorous lines (an apt New York coping mechanism woven through the whole script), and it becomes a climax of its own, the moment in the story when each character's pent-up personal hell explodes forth.

Mid-way through the film, many of the far-flung characters end up together in an elevator. There is a sudden jolt, the lights flicker, and the sound of rattling cables and wires fills the space. It is a mere moment. Then, the elevator restarts and arrives at the floor of Sandie (Jim Gaffigan), who has spent the film attending therapy sessions in his company's break room with Dr. Trabulous (played by the sublime Tony Shaloub) to discuss some unnamed office tragedy which took place on "the 7th floor" of the company's offices in which several co-workers were killed. Sandie steps off the elevator, and a cranky old man in the back corner, seen earlier asking a cantankerous question at a Queens neighborhood meeting, mutters "well, you made it out alive," to which the cheery Sandie replied, "yeah!" and smiles. Minutes later, Sandie has finally opened up with Dr. Trabulous, in tears, realizing that behind his scarily cheerful, productive, doe-eyed American veneer he is seething with rage and anguish and trauma. In due course, the explosion inside Sandie is so primal that he leaves the doctor with a head wound on the floor and flees on foot to his parents' home in Connecticut.

But Sandie is an exception -- being the only presumed direct victim of the attacks, he is the only one with a doctor caring for his wounds. The rest of the characters -- from Olympia Dukakis' somnabulent, elderly housewife to the self-absorbed yuppie couple (Judy Greer and Thomas McCarthy) who cannot grasp the venality of their son's mental illness -- like us were left to struggle alone. Perhaps the most ingenious subplot involves the pointless rivalry between Maggie Gyllenhaal and Edie Falco, a signature New York/U.S. upper-class drama in a laughably (but all too believable) superfluous world where rich, idiotic clients pay tens of thousands of dollars for birthday cakes, and the two wealthy cake-artists are vying for the decisive favor of a spoiled, uninterested teen-aged heiress. (Will Arnett's turn as Gyllenhaal's pampered husband is a great touch.) So brilliant -- cakes! -- representing the ruthless spiritual hollowness of so much of Manhattan's gliteratti before 9/11, and as Falco says in her one, powerful scene, "it's amazing how after everything that has happened, everything is still the same."

"The Great New Wonderful" is such an unsentimental, powerfully true look in the mirror; it is required-viewing in the 9/11 oeuvre. While "United 93" is a raw, draining and ultimately necessary catharsis akin to an open-casket wake, this film will stay with you much, much longer. It makes stark moral statements -- some might even argue it explores the human, non-political, universal root of the murderous criminality of 9/11 itself -- and sometimes the audience's reaction in the theater (keep an eye out for when the nervous laughter in the room subsides, or if it subsides at all) is just as fascinating as the action on screen.

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