Making your directorial debut is never easy, but there’s got to be even more pressure involved when you’re Robert Schwartzman. Best known as the as the lead vocalist of the pop-rock band Rooney, Schwartzman’s ties to the film world run deep: His uncle is Francis Ford Coppola, his brother is Jason Schwartzman and his cousins are Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola and Gia Coppola. Talk about a major shadow to step out of. Fortunately, Robert does so with “Dreamland,” a charming and inventive musical riff on the Mrs. Robinson story.
Johnny Simmons stars as Monty, a struggling musician in a dead-end relationship with his girlfriend. He dreams of opening a piano bar but doesn’t have the money, so he gets a job playing in a swanky hotel bar. There, he meets Olivia (Amy Landecker, “Transparent”), a wealthy older woman with whom he begins an affair. Though Olivia provides him with self-esteem and some swanky apparel, he starts to lose all sense of self in the process.
IndieWire Film Editor Kate Erbland explains why “Dreamland” is worth a try on VOD this Thanksgiving weekend in the video below.
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