Fox Searchlight will open “Mistress America” — in which lonely New York college freshman Tracy (Lola Kirke) is taken in by her almost stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig), a dangerously entertaining urban sophisticate who draws her into her crazy schemes–in the quieter August corridor rather than taking it on the more congested and expensive fall festival route. If audiences embrace it–and I think they will–then the distributor will assess its awards chances–Best Actress and Original Screenplay come to mind.
Baumbauch wrote with his partner and actress muse Gerwig (who collaborated with him memorably on “Frances Ha”), creating the most entertaining screwball heroine since Holly Golightly. Brooke is capable of such one-liners as: “Sometimes I think I’m a genius, and I wish I could fast forward to the time when everyone knows it,” and, “There’s nothing I don’t know about myself–that’s why I can’t do therapy.”
“I get so much pleasure out of seeing what she’s going to write,” Baumbach told me of his collaboration with Gerwig. “Sometimes, we do it separately; sometimes, we do it together. ‘Mistress America,’ actually, was more together. She works. I work.” Read the rest of our interview here.