Five years after his award-winning debut feature “Girlfriend,” writer-director Justin Lerner is back with his anticipated sophomore effort.
The official synopsis for “The Automatic Hate” reads: “Davis Green’s (Joseph Cross) alluring young cousin Alexis (Adelaide Clemens of “Rectify”) appears on his doorstep one night, and he discovers that his father has kept a side of his family secret for 30 years. Against his father’s wishes, Davis travels to rural, upstate New York to meet his other cousins. Quickly developing a strong connection with them, he sets out with Alexis to reunite their broken family. But in getting to know each other, Davis and Alexis realize they are perhaps more like their own fathers than they thought. As the pair uncovers the incident that tore their family apart, the two cousins must resist the temptation to keep their fathers’ deep-rooted grudge going, rather than end it.”
Lerner won the Gotham Audience Award in 2011 for “Girlfriend,” and expectations are high for his follow-up. He’s recruited a strong supporting cast including Richard Schiff (“The West Wing”) and Deborah Ann Woll (“True Blood”), and if the exclusive poster (posted above) is any indication, the film will be working on the kind of sweeping, emotional scale that Lerner introduced with his first film.
“The Automatic Hate” premieres on March 15 at SXSW.