Sunday, March 6, 2016
Tinsel & Tine's Look at Five Nights in Maine
|Me w/ Filmmaker Maris Curran|
Five Nights in Maine premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and stars David Oyelowo (Selma, Middle of Nowhere - click for T&T posts) as Sherwin, a husband who suddenly loses his wife, Fiona (Hani Furstenberg) in a fatal car accident and feels completely out of sorts the days and weeks following her passing. His mother-in-law, Lucinda (Dianne Wiest) who has been estranged from the couple, invites Sherwin to come up to Maine to visit after the tragedy. Shortly before her death, Fiona had been to see Lucinda and wanted to return with her husband for a visit, before losing her mother to cancer. It's never spoken, but you assume a large part of the estrangement has to do with the fact that Sherwin and Fiona are an interracial couple and the mother didn't approve.
Maris Curran: This is an adult film. It is a film about real people struggling and coming together. I know that as a filmgoer, I ache to see more films that reflect the challenges and joys of everyday life. It is a film for people who want that experience. And it is a film to see with someone — to sit in the dark and leave talking and ideally, sharing. It is something that has happened spontaneously throughout the process of making the film, so I hope it will continue... READ MORE Tina Poppy Interview with Curran for FilmmakerMagazine.com
Sherwin arrives at Lucinda's large farmhouse and is met by her nurse, Ann (Rosie Perez). He's told Lucinda isn't feeling well and will see him at dinner, which is a palpably uncomfortable meal. There's no anger or blatant hostility, but here's two people with only one thing in common, they loved the same person, a person who they're both still in the throes of grief over, yet grieving very differently. Perhaps under another set of circumstances this could bring two strangers closer together, but not during 5 Nights in Maine.
What advice do you have for other female directors?
Curran: The best advice I can give to a filmmaker is to be true to your voice and make your work. Push forward, be kind, help other filmmakers and honor what makes you special. READ MORE TIFF 2015 Women Directors: Meet Maris Curran - 'Five Nights in Maine'
|Lucinda (Wiest) Illustration by Diane Roka|
At one point in the movie you overhear Lucinda saying to Ann she didn't think he'd actually come - which gives you the feeling she extended the invitation in a moment of weakness, needing some connection to Fiona, but in the light of day regretted the impulse. It certainly wasn't extended out of compassion for Sherwin, or even etiquette, because Lucinda is a far cry from the sympathetic characters Dianne Wiest normally plays. This woman is brittle, set in her ways, a bit haughty and uncompromising - not to mention, angry at her own impending death and that of her daughter's, there's no room for niceties.
|Sherwin (Oyelowo) Illustration by Diane Roka|
Maris Curran is a Philly native, who now resides in LA. Five Nights in Maine is her debut feature film. What incredible luck to have gotten David Oyelowo attached even before he was tapped to play Martin Luther King, Jr in Selma. Curran was actually introduced to Oyelowo, through Ava DuVernay. Oyelowo like the script enough to sign on not only as principal actor, but also producer. I can see why, as it's a very different kind of role for a black male. A lot of tight shots, subtle humor, understated pathos, it's understandable why he stayed with the project through the 5 years it took to get the film made.
held at I House Philadelphia 3/2/16
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Five Nights participated in IFP’s No Borders International Coproduction Market, Film Independent’s Fast Track, received a Cinereach Grant, a San Francisco Film society KRF grant, a Panavision New Filmmaker camera grant and was selected as one of ten international projects to develop at the Cine Qua Non Writers Lab in Mexico.
T &T's LAMB Score: 2.5 outta 5
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