Drake Doremus was at Slamdance and Sundance in 2009 and 2010 with “Spooner” and “Douchebag” respectively, but the indie filmmaker started to really connect on a grander scale when he started tackling relationships, crystallized with 2011’s moving and award-winning “Like Crazy.” A big smash at Sundance that year, it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film and introduced the world at large to brilliant English actress Felicity Jones (she won a Special Jury Prize for her moving performance in the lead role).
The filmmaker was clearly cooking with grease on that picture and so in his latest effort, “Breathe In,” he’s tried to stay within the same type of emotional and thematic frame, and yet expanding that territory to explore some darker tenors. He’s even once again chosen to work with Felicity Jones, but adding Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan and newcomer Mackenzie Davis to his troupe of players. “Breathe In” centers on a foreign exchange student who arrives in a small upstate New York town and then unexpectedly challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships. As a illicit romance blooms, she alters their lives forever.
Our review of the film called it the “darker cousin” of “Like Crazy” and said the actors in the film “crush these intense moments of desire and longing into something near breathless.” Playlist contributor Kristin McCracken spoke to Doremus at Sundance and discovered that one of the big impetus’ in making the picture for the filmmaker was working with Jones again, but also composer Dustin O’Halloran who is a major emotional component of both “Like Crazy” and “Breathe In.” Doremus also talked about Guy Pearce‘s classical sensibility with the director’s more-improvised approach, how that affected and changed the process of which the film was made. “I really wanted to try something new with this,” Doremus told us. “Something more restrained, something darker, but still exploring the romantic sensibilities and interests that I have. It really just came out of wanting to grow and try something new.”
Check out the full interview with the director below.