My rating: 88/100
I ended up seeing this movie at the Toronto film fest in a rather circuitous way but I'm awfully glad I did.
Nary a car chase nor explosion, but instead a quiet and thoughtful film. It touches on relationships, death, siblings, betrayal, unrequited love, honesty, fears, and forgiveness and does so in a very believable and refreshing way.
Most of the movie takes place at a secluded rustic waterfront cottage, a family cabin that Iris (Emily Blunt) has suggested her 'bestie', Jay (Mark Duplass) visit to clear his head; he's still emotionally stuck at the one year anniversary of his brother's death.
The secluded locale - without phones, computers and the usually daily distractions - is the conduit which allows the abundance of emotions and introspective feelings bubble up and expose themselves to a trio of characters connected in various and interesting ways.
These three individuals are both frustrating with their flaws, yet endearing with their fragility and weaknesses. How easy it is to identify with all of them! which can perhaps be attributed to the impromptu conversation Director Lynn Shelton nurtured and encouraged from the mere 70 page script. She confessed that 75% of the dialogue was improvised allowing a unique honesty to develop within each character, thanks to a stellar cast.
I'm thankful Shelton stuck around Toronto for this third screening – she's originally from Seattle which is where this was filmed - and was more than willing to open up to the audience at a post Q&A where we heard her speak passionately and reflectively about the 12 day shoot (wow!) with almost no funding and how she lucked in to Emily Blunt coming on board (thanks to a shared agent) who was keen on the challenge and experience. Also it was nice to hear that during the festival the film had found distribution through IFC, and that cast and crew would now be compensated for this wonderful collaboration.
This film's a winner to me. I hope you have an opportunity to see it.