Hello all! I’m excited to share the news that one of my favorite films in 2014, “Kelly & Cal,” is premiering in Los Angeles today with a simultaneous premiere on demand! (See below for details.)
In the film, Juliette Lewis stars as a former-punk-rocker-turned-suburban-mom, who forms an unlikely friendship with her 17-year-old disabled neighbor played by Jonny Weston. Lewis’ character, Kelly, is dealing with postpartum depression as well as a loss of identity. She and her husband, Josh, played by Josh Hopkins, have moved to the ‘burbs. Kelly’s mother-in-law, played by Cybill Shepherd, steps in to force Kelly out of her funk. However, Kelly finds more kinship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Cal, who also feels like an outsider in his life.
Writing in The New York Times, reviewer Stephen Holden notes “the performances of Ms. Lewis and Mr. Weston crackle with authenticity. Like a good punk-rock song, this bracingly honest, tough-minded vignette stays true to itself.”
First-time feature director Jen McGowan won SXSW Film Festival’s Gamechanger Award for this wonderful film. Entertainment Weekly‘s Karen Valby writes, “In her feature debut, director Jen McGowan displays the unhurried, naturalistic instincts of Nicole Holofcener or Alexander Payne. Her portrait of suburbia is sterile without being sneering, and she finds bursts of humor and pathos in quiet moments.” Valby praises the script, as well: “Amy Lowe Starbin’s unsentimental script grants depth to her supporting characters, too.”
I know both Jen and Amy, and I saw “Kelly & Cal” at an advance screening at ICM Partners. The audience was primarily directors, along with a few other industry folks like myself. We were blown away by this indie gem. Jen and Amy delivered a subtle, edgy, humorous yet heartfelt film. Never saccharin, “Kelly & Cal” examines life after life-altering events with honesty.
You can see “Kelly & Cal” from Friday, September 19, through Thursday, September 25, at the Arena Cinema in Los Angeles. Click here for more details and tickets.
Need a lift to the Arena Cinema? The filmmakers have partnered with Uber to offer free rides to those who see the film. Buy a $12 ticket, get up to a $30 Uber credit! Here’s a link to the “Kelly & Cal” plus Uber offer.
Please check out this terrific indie film. For more about “Kelly & Cal,” follow the filmmakers on twitter at @KellyandCal.