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Mistress America (2015)

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A lonely college freshman's life is turned upside-down by her impetuous, adventurous stepsister-to-be.

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2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nicolette
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Dylan
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Karen
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Tracy's Mom
Dean Wareham ...
Harold
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Ruth
Shelby Rebecca Wong ...
Laura
Alfred Macadam ...
Professor #1
Amy Warren ...
Counselor
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Professor #2
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Student
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Storyline

Tracy, a lonely college freshman in New York, is rescued from her solitude by her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, an adventurous gal about town who entangles her in alluringly mad schemes. Mistress America is a comedy about dream-chasing, score-settling, makeshift families, and cat-stealing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

from strangers to sisters.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Public School Project  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$234,275 (USA) (21 August 2015)

Gross:

$2,461,121 (USA) (4 October 2015)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hallway of the dorm Tracy (Lola Kirke) stays in, is the same hallway Greta Gerwig stayed in when she attended Barnard College. See more »

Goofs

When Brooke's former high school classmate Anna Wheeler approaches Brooke and Tracy in the bar, Anna mentions that she and her husband have recently seen the play Other Desert Cities, which began previews at the Booth Theatre on October 12, 2011 and closed on June 17, 2012. If the film occurs during Tracy's first semester of college and culminates with Thanksgiving dinner with Brooke at Veselka, then the film would occur in fall 2011. However, when the would-be stepsisters walk through Times Square, a marquee for the revival of Annie is visible. The most recent Broadway revival ran at the Palace Theatre from October 3, 2012 (first preview) to January 5, 2014. See more »

Quotes

Tracy: Sometimes I really just think I'm smarter and better than everyone else. Not necessarily with math or science, or whether something is "East" or "West", but pretty much with everything else. And, if I could figure out my look, I'd be the most beautiful woman in the world, too.
Tony: Sometimes I think I'm a genius. And I wish I could just fast-forward my life to the part where everyone knows it.
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Connections

References Dressed to Kill (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy & Free
(Jim James Remix)
Written and Performed by Dean Wareham
Courtesy of Double Feature Records
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User Reviews

 
Mistress America: A surreal, strange, slice of life unlike any other
19 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Taking place in New York City about now, "Mistress America" focuses on the life of Tracy who is a freshman in college. She aspires to be a writer—easy to tell because she's aloof, detached, alone, and looking for friends. Her mom's getting remarried so Tracy has an older sister-to-be in Brooke, one of those cinematic forces of nature like a young Katherine Hepburn, perhaps. Brooke takes Tracy into her life of late-night concert performances, high-output spinning, fashion, finance, clandestine apartments, absent lovers, and a nascent restaurant business. In many ways, this is a buddy movie as Tracy learns fierce independence from Brooke, who she greatly admires.

Like all buddy movies, Tracy's and Brooke's relationship has ups and downs, complicated by the literary understory. Then the whirlwind pace goes surreal as the New Yorkers head to Greenwich, Connecticut in search of—something. We think it's one thing but it's not. I guess Greenwich, seat of the uber wealthy in the US financial arena, is actually a surreal place.

This is an intensely witty movie with a very chewy script handled ably by the very smart cast. Many call "Mistress America" a comedy but funny is clearly not this movie's main goal. To call it a "screwball comedy" is to not properly describe its intellect. The movie is saying something about envying the lives of others, which most of us do to one extent or another. It's a thoughtful movie, and it will be uncomfortable for some to watch if you, like Tracy, are not centered within your own mind and body. And after all, who is?

We saw this movie thanks to the San Jose Camera Cinema Club.


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