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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.

Director:

Noah Baumbach
2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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After college graduation, Grover's girlfriend Jane tells him she's moving to Prague to study writing. Grover declines to accompany her, deciding instead to move in with several friends, all... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lola Kirke ... Tracy
Shana Dowdeswell ... Ruth
Shelby Rebecca Wong Shelby Rebecca Wong ... Laura
Alfred Macadam Alfred Macadam ... Professor #1
Amy Warren Amy Warren ... Counselor
Sharon Washington ... Professor #2
Morgan Lynch ... Student
Andrea Chen ... Hallway Girl
Shoba Narayan ... Hallway Girl (as Shoba Narayanan)
Kathryn Erbe ... Tracy's Mom
Jasmine Cephas Jones ... Nicolette
Matthew Shear ... Tony
Colin Stokes Colin Stokes ... Mobius Guy
Juliet Brett ... Tiny Girl
Gretchen Young Gretchen Young ... Work Study Woman
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Brazil

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Public School Project See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$234,275, 21 August 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,461,121, 4 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two stars are Greta Gerwig & Lola Kirke. Kirke played a character named Greta in the thriller Gone Girl (2014), while Gerwig played a character named Lola in the comedy Lola Versus (2012). 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: I'm so impressed by you and so worried for you at the same time.
See more »

Connections

References Dressed to Kill (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

You Could Have Been A Lady
Written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Parlophone Records Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mistress America: A surreal, strange, slice of life unlike any other
19 July 2015 | by steven-leibsonSee 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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