RAISE HELL: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins tells the story of media firebrand Molly Ivins, six feet of Texas trouble who took on the Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Her ... See full summary »
A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.
Greetings again from the darkness. The world of cinema has been slow to evolve, but these days we are getting more projects with women telling stories about women ... and this one from director Hannah Pearl Utt, who co-wrote the script with Jen Tullock does it pretty well. Both also star in the film, and casting themselves proves very effective at delivering the message. I saw it earlier this year at the Dallas International Film Festival.
"Stage Manager" (and writer) Rachel (Ms. Utt) and actress Jackie (Ms. Tullock) are sisters who live a kind of bohemian lifestyle above a community theatre with their playwright dad (Mandy Patinkin) and Jackie's 12 year old daughter Dodge (Oona Yaffe). There are daily struggles with this family. Money is always scarce. Dodge is growing up fast. Jackie and Rachel have very few career options, and Dad is a stubborn man who had one successful play and many that were, umm, not so successful.
An unexpected development has the grown sisters accidentally discovering their mother is not deceased (as they had lived most of their lives believing), but rather a famous soap opera actress (a terrific Judith Light). The rest of the story has this broken family trying to connect, while overcoming the assumptions that had been made based on a family history created by trying to protect kids from the truth.
Humor is injected to help soften some of the more emotional and dramatic moments, and there is a sense that the story-telling of Woody Allen films was an influence ... plus there's a visual near the end that evokes memories of MANHATTAN. Supporting work is provided by Mike Colter ("Luke Cage"), Alec Baldwin, Tim Daly, Peter Jacobson and newcomer Arica Himmel. The film also tosses in a hilarious 'caterer' line in regards to fashion, a singing Manny Patinkin, and most importantly, some terrific insight from two talented filmmakers.
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