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The Hottest State
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The Hottest State (2006) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 31 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
The Hottest State -- A young actor from Texas tries to make it in New York while struggling in his relationship with a beautiful singer/songwriter.
The Hottest State -- Clip: Talking to mom
The Hottest State -- Clip: Talking to dad


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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Ethan Hawke (screenplay)
Ethan Hawke (novel)
View company contact information for The Hottest State on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 March 2007 (Italy) See more »
What happens when your first love is love itself?
A young actor from Texas tries to make it in New York while struggling in his relationship with a beautiful singer/songwriter. | Full synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Ethan Hawke's Confessional: The Hottest State See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Mark Webber ... William Harding

Daniel Ross Owens ... Young Vince (as Daniel Ross)

Glen Powell ... John Jaegerman (as Glen Powell Jr.)
Anne Clarke ... Young Jesse

Cherami Leigh ... Danielle

Catalina Sandino Moreno ... Sarah

Josh Zuckerman ... Decker

Michelle Williams ... Samantha

Jesse Harris ... Dave Afton
Bill Dobrow ... Drummer
Jon Fowler ... Bassist
Guyora Kats ... Pianist / Accordian Player
Nick McDonnel ... Artsy Guy

Alexandra Daddario ... Kim (as Alexandra Daddorio)

Ethan Hawke ... Vince
Jonathan Marc Sherman ... Party Philosopher

Richard Linklater ... John Wayne Enthusiast
Ryan Shawhughes-Hawke ... Williamsburg Hip Girl (as Ryan Shawhughes)

Sonia Braga ... Mrs. Garcia
Iraida Polanco ... Proprietor

Gabriel Rivera ... Guitar Player

Laura Linney ... Jesse
Greta Gaines ... Faye

Frank Whaley ... Harris

Lynn Cohen ... Harris's Mother

John Patrick Shanley ... Priest
Elissabeth Blofson ... Kissing Couple
Benjamin Dickey ... Kissing Couple

Lara Theodos ... Waitress
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melissa Coleman ... Sarah's Friend (uncredited)
Ben Hamby ... Roadie (uncredited)

Matt Jade ... Head Waiter (uncredited)
Elizabeth Marley ... Ticket Girl (uncredited)

Lee Miller ... Bartender (uncredited)
Steven Weisz ... Diner (uncredited)

Directed by
Ethan Hawke 
Writing credits
Ethan Hawke (screenplay)

Ethan Hawke (novel "The Hottest State")

Produced by
Alexis Alexanian .... producer
Sheila Jaffe .... co-producer
Yukie Kito .... producer (as Yuki'e Kitô)
Yasushi Kotani .... executive producer
Jonathan Shoemaker .... co-producer
Taizo Son .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jesse Harris 
Cinematography by
Chris Norr  (director of photography) (as Christopher Norr)
Film Editing by
Adriana Pacheco  (as Adriana Pacheco Rincón)
Casting by
Sheila Jaffe 
Production Design by
Rick Butler 
Set Decoration by
Lisa Scoppa 
Costume Design by
Catherine Marie Thomas 
Makeup Department
Shannon Harrington .... assistant hair stylist
Jason Hayes .... key hair stylist (as Jason P. Hayes)
Stacey Panepinto .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Kelley Cribben .... post-production supervisor
Tony Hernandez .... production supervisor
Jonathan Shoemaker .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adam Escott .... first assistant director
Annie Tan .... second assistant director
Nick Vanderpool .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Glen Aldous .... charge/camera scenic artist
Pastor Alvarado III .... on-set dresser
Hilary Ballou .... art department intern
Jasmine E. Ballou .... assistant to production designer (as Jasmine Ballou)
Scott Canfield .... leadman
John Diaz .... prop assistant: Texas
Carl Ferrara .... art department production assistant
Leo Holder .... graphic artist
Millree Hughes .... scenic artist
Greg Izzo .... set dresser
Robert Jean-Pierre .... art department production assistant
Dale Johnson .... art department production assistant
Olivia Ontaneda .... art department intern
Paul Robinson .... carpenter
Duke Scoppa .... property master (as Edward P. Scoppa Jr.)
Amanecer Sierra .... art department intern
Tim Okamura .... fine artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Kevin Bowe .... boom operator: Texas
Carlos M. Cano .... assistant sound editor
Ryan Collison .... foley mixer
Robert Fernandez .... sound mixer
Henry Fleet .... sound intern
Christopher Fondulas .... boom operator
Mariusz Glabinski .... sound effects editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... supervising sound editor
Bradford L. Hohle .... Dolby engineer (as Brad Hohle)
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer (as Bobby Johanssen)
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... dialogue editor
Terrance Laudermilch .... sound recordist (as Terry Laudermilch)
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Griffin Richardson .... sound mixer
Ira Spiegel .... sound effects editor
Jose Torres .... sound mixer: Texas
John Werner .... dialogue editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Wesley Battle .... best boy grip (as Wes Battle)
Ethan Borsuk .... second assistant camera
Jon Delgado .... camera operator
Leighton Edmondson .... best boy electrician
Daniel Feighery .... assistant camera
John Keating .... key grip
Nina Kuhn .... electrician
Stephen Osborn .... gaffer: Texas (as Steve Osborn)
Luke Owen .... camera loader
Macall B. Polay .... still photographer
Julian Quiambao .... key grip: Texas
Chris Reynolds .... first assistant camera
Jeremy Rodriguez .... grip
Jeremy Rodriguez .... key grip
Ken Shibata .... gaffer
David Stern .... third grip (as Dave Stern)
Frank Stubblefield .... third electrician
Vance Tucker .... grip
Jon Delgado .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Adam Hall .... grip (uncredited)
Nick Maczka .... grip (uncredited)
Ron Morales .... grip (uncredited)
Lisa Origlieri .... additional loader (uncredited)
Casting Department
Susan Paley Abramson .... casting associate
Helga Byrne .... extras casting assistant
Susan Fried .... extras casting
Lilli Heinrich .... extras casting: Texas
Meredith Tucker .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ghilaine Bouadana .... wardrobe supervisor
Mickey Carleton .... assistant costume designer
Laura Downing .... costumer
Jessica Mostow .... costume production assistant
Editorial Department
Adrienne Haspel .... assistant editor
Dave Pultz .... color timer
Bill Stokes .... colorist: dailies
David Ruchman .... post-production intern (uncredited)
Music Department
Arjun Agerwala .... assistant score engineer: Stratosphere Sound
Greg Cohen .... musician: upright bass
Linda Cohen .... music supervisor
Rudyard Lee Cullers .... assistant score engineer: Stratosphere Sound
John M. Davis .... music editor (as John M. Davis)
Jon Dryden .... musician: piano/accordion/organ/chamberlin
Jonathan Hafter .... musician: also saxophone
Jesse Harris .... musician: acoustic guitar
Mike Irwin .... musician: trumpet
Tony Scherr .... musician: acoustic and electric guitar/upright bass
Tom Schick .... score recordist: Stratosphere Sound
Kenny Wollesen .... musician: drums/marimba/percussion
Transportation Department
Reginald Crute .... driver
Jonathan Hustad .... driver: prop
John McMorrow .... driver
Timothy Paustian .... transportation captain (as Tim Paustian)
Christian Reinhardsen .... driver: set dressing
Jacob Cena .... picture car coordinator: Texas (uncredited)
Other crew
Inna Braude .... key set production assistant
Brian Cantaldi .... production accountant
Jeff Caron .... location manager
Carlos Casaretto .... set intern
Michael Charske .... location manager: Texas
Cecile Daguin .... office production assistant
Ilena Dominguez .... intern: Texas
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Peter Flanigan .... production counsel
Wayne Han .... set production assistant
Erik Hernandez .... set production assistant: Texas
Liz Huizinga .... accounting clerk
Jill Jorschick .... product placement coordinator
Patricia LaMagna .... assistant: Ms. Alexanian (as Patty LaMagna)
Luke Marion .... set production assistant
Stephanie A. Marquardt .... script supervisor (as Stephanie Marquardt)
Ismael Martinez .... key production assistant: Texas
Keith Martinez .... intern: Texas
Cathleen McFadyen .... set production assistant
Ronny Merdinger .... production office coordinator
Sean Murray .... set production assistant
Yuko Nishimura .... accountant: Entertainment Farm
Peter Pinon III .... unit production assistant: Texas
Julie Platner .... production secretary (as Julie A. Platner)
Justin Rigby .... location production assistant
Gabriel Rivera .... set production assistant: Texas
Rene Rodriguez .... office production assistant (as Rene T. Rodriguez)
Brian Rothe .... office production assistant
John Skidmore .... production office intern
Heather Smith .... assistant: Mr. Hawke
Richard Sterling .... production secretary: Texas
Rhianon Visinisky .... craft service assistant
Danielle Wilson .... craft service
Elizabeth Zagrany .... post-production accountant (as Beth Zagrany)
Leslie Zak .... production office intern
Alexander Zweig .... assistant location manager (as Alex Zweig)
Ray Sullivan .... stand-in (uncredited)
R.G. Armstrong .... thanks
Josh Charles .... thanks
Alfonso Cuarón .... thanks
Douglas Graham .... thanks
Josh Hamilton .... thanks
Kris Kristofferson .... thanks
Robert Sean Leonard .... thanks
Richard Linklater .... thanks
Tim Okamura .... thanks
Ryan Shawhughes-Hawke .... thanks (as Ryan Shawhughes)
Jonathan Marc Sherman .... thanks

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexual content and language
117 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Jesse:[to William] Your whole life, people are gonna ask you to be weak. They're gonna practically beg you. But all anyone really wants is for you to be strong.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Star Trek" (1966)See more »
The Speed of SoundSee more »


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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Ethan Hawke's Confessional: The Hottest State, 13 December 2007
Author: j horsley

Written and directed by Ethan Hawke, and based on Hawke's (I presume) autobiographical novel of the same name, The Hottest State is an intensely personal movie. Yet unlike, say, Woody Allen's autobiographical films (Annie Hall, Stardust Memories, Husbands and Wives), Hawke's personality doesn't flood his material. Hawke is quite casual about baring his soul to us, and audiences may not be aware how deeply he takes them into his psyche. But he holds nothing back.

The film recounts a brief, magical love affair between 20-year-old William (Mark Webber), Texas-born living in New York, and Sara (Catalina Sandino Moreno), a beautiful Mexican who has moved to the city to pursue her singing career. The film unfolds with an easy, natural spontaneity that is both engaging and faintly ominous (we know where it's heading because William informs us in voice-over). Working with his actors and crew, Hawke uses simple, unassuming brush strokes to communicate the joy and misery, and the complexity, of falling in love. William's trouble is that he has fallen in love with "a force of evil," which is to say, with unfathomable femininity.

The Hottest State shows the futility of romantic desire without ever opting for self-pity or easy cynicism. Hawke imbues the film with the wisdom and acceptance of a broken heart made stronger and freer by the breakage. The film is so faithful to his own experience that it gets at something universal, and cuts all the way to the bone. As a result, it may stir feelings we'd rather not have to deal with, ones we'd hoped we'd put to rest. I don't think I have ever seen a romantic film that manages to be this painful without being in the least bit sentimental. It's not so much about the sadness of watching a great love die, but about the horror and incomprehensibility of it.

Although it's raw and almost nakedly personal, there's nothing amateurish about the film. Hawke's handling of his actors is flawless, and just about every scene resonates, rings bells of recognition. In scene after scene, Hawke seems to have got precisely what he was after. His use of the soundtrack (songs by Jesse Harris), free-form editing, overlapping scenes, voice-over, the rich, sensuous colors and his knack for placing the camera just where it needs to be, all is remarkably assured, making this probably the most auspicious debut from a writer-director since Sean Penn's Indian Runner. The Hottest State is a wonderful film and I felt richer for having seen it; and it deserves a wider audience, because so far as I know it did little business and got Luke-warm notices. Another precious gem in danger of slipping under the radar.

The film is a little soft around the edges. Some of the dialogue (particularly between William and his mother, played by Laura Linney, and in the crucial scene with William's father, played by Hawke) may be a little too pat. We're aware of Hawke's limitations as a writer here, of his putting words into the characters' mouths instead of letting them speak for themselves (which is the problem with Sara's last few scenes). But considering what Hawke is attempting here—adapting his own novel, directing it, and playing a key role—it's an astonishingly assured work.

Like Penn, Hawke has an authentic artistic sensibility, and with any luck he could become a major filmmaker. He's so confident of getting to the truth of a scene that he achieves poetry without trying, without even a whiff of pretension. The film has a raw honesty to it, and yet it never seems self-indulgent or narcissistic. It's confessional in the best sense. It's as if getting these experiences down (in the novel, which I haven't read, and by making the film) was essential for Hawke's peace of mind, as if by sharing his pain and confusion with us, he was able to come to terms with the past and reduce its hold over him. As a result, the film has urgency and poignancy, it feels essential, from the heart. I can't think of another film that conveys the agony of heartbreak and the rite of passage it entails as effectively as this. It has its very own ache.

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