The Party’s Just Beginning
Director: Karen Gillan
Writer: Karen Gillan
Starring: Rachel Jackson, Jamie Quinn, Siobhan Redmond, Paul Higgins, Matthew Beard, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan
Lucy is a sharp-witted, foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking twenty-something who is still reeling from a recent loss. This surreal coming-of-age tale is a love letter to Gillan’s hometown in the Scottish Highlands.
I absolutely loved this film. It’s whip-smart, poignant, and funny as hell. An incredible departure for Karen Gillan on all fronts. I was blown away by the maturity of her writing. Not only does she tackle some seriously dark issues, but she does so with humor and some brilliant editing choices. The film explores personal responsibility, human connection, and escapism through music, flashbacks, and sharp wit. The Party’s Just Beginning is a triumph. – Liz Whittemore
Director: Marianna Palka
Writer: Risa Mickenberg
Starring: Gbenga Akinnagbe, David Alan Basche, Alysia Reiner, Anna Camp, Christina Hendricks
In provocateur Marianna Palka’s sharp and unflinching satire, two couples and a surrogate lay bare the complications, contradictions, heartbreak, and absurdities implicit in how we think about motherhood.
Mariana Palka’s follow-up to last year’s Bitch, is just as powerful in delving into “the phases of a woman’s life”, to use a phrase directly from EGG. With an incredibly theatrical feel, as if it could play in an Off-Broadway theater with a unit set, EGG confronts art, politics, and the patriarchal structure that surround the idea of having a baby. The entire ensemble cast is phenomenal, each playing their role in a game of vapid versus broken. The writing is good, honest, and brave. There are no filters on these characters making them completely loathsome and fantastic all at once. – Liz Whittemore
Country: Ireland, UK, Luxembourg, USA
Director: Haifaa Al Mansour
Writer: Emma Jensen
Starring: Maisie Williams, Tom Sturridge, Joanne Froggatt, Bel Powley, Douglas Booth, Elle Fanning
The story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s whirlwind romance with the tempestuous poet Percy Shelley, a romance that led to her creation of one of the most enduring works of gothic literature before the age of 20: Frankenstein.
In theaters: 05-25-2018, Distributed by: IFC
There was something refreshing about this young girl and her story. Told with no pity, and knowing she wrote the infamous Frankenstein, you’ll be amazed at how daring her choices were. I was on the edge of my seat, glued to the screen to see how it unfolded. – Melissa Hanson
Director: Emma Forrest
Writer: Emma Forrest
Starring: Scott Caan, Jennifer Grey, Alice Eve, Billy Crystal, Ben Mendelsohn, Lola Kirke, Jemima Kirke, Jamie Dornan
Former writing prodigy Andrea tries not to fall for her one-night stand, while her sister Lisa throws herself into a newfound religious zeal (and the arms of her charismatic rabbi) to avoid the truth about her current relationship in this multi-character romantic drama.
This much talent can ruin a movie if the script isn’t good enough. Fortunately, this one is complex, full of emotion and depth. From the opening scene, you’ll know you’re not in for typical tropes. – Melissa Hanson
Lemonade (Luna de Miere)
Country: Romania, Canada, Germany, Sweden
Director: Ioana Uricaru
Writer: Tatiana Ionașcu, Ioana Uricaru
Starring: Ruxandra Maniu, Milan Hurduc, Dylan Scott Smith, Steve Bacic, Mălina Manovici
Mara hopes to move her son from Romania to the U.S. and obtain a green card. But bureaucratic processes give way to authoritarian nightmares in this simmering social drama about American immigration and the institutional corruption of power.
One of the very first films I saw at the fest and I still think about it. It’s not heartwarming but it is inspirational how this woman faces odds at every turn, yet she persists. – Melissa Hanson