So far “The Mend,” the indie drama that made its debut at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, has had an interesting existence. A challenging picture that certainly had its champions—it boasts an unapologetic and fierce performance by Josh Lucas—in the end, it’s quite divisive (our review wasn’t too charitable). David Gordon Green was a producer (and has been a vocal proponent along the way), the Film Society Of Lincoln Center gave it a special screening last year, and it was included in 2014’s BamCinematek line-up—a slow-burning buzz for a picture that’s been equated to a modern day “Withnail and I.”
Starring Josh Lucas and Stephen Plunkett, the movie is about two fractured siblings and the unannounced visit of the older brother, an unholy terror played by Lucas. As the short log-line says, “a comic drama about rage, doubt, lust, madness, and other brotherly hand-me-downs.” The movie features the supporting cast of Lucy Owen, Mickey Sumner, Austin Pendleton, Cory Nichols, Sekou Laidlow, Louisa Krause, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Sarah Steele. Here’s the official synopsis:
For anyone who’s ever loathed and loved a sibling in equal measure, The Mend is the wonderfully strange and acidic debut comedy from writer / director John Magary. Shot through with the wicked humor and anarchy of Bruce Robinson’s Withnail & I and Mike Leigh’s Naked, The Mend follows a mismatched yin-yang pair of NYC brothers, loose cannon Mat (Josh Lucas in a career-best performance) and put-upon Alan (Stephen Plunkett) as they stagger dimly towards some understanding of love, women, masculinity and what it truly means to be a brother. Featuring a gorgeous, minimalist score by Michi Wiancko & Judd Greenstein and beautiful, fluid cinematography by Chris Teague (Obvious Child), the film unfolds as three stylistically distinct but interwoven acts, each with its own mesmerizing rhythm. With superb supporting performances by Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha) and Lucy Owen as the brothers’ sharp-tongued girlfriends.
Directed by John Magary, “The Mend” opens August 21st from Cinelicious Pics. Watch the first trailer below (which quotes Gordon Green too).