McCarthy and Singer dug deep into the research and deliver a smart emotional drama that is free of the usual formulas of Hollywood studio filmmaking. Of course that means they had to raise independent backing; indie veteran Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road is releasing the movie and after its rousing reception at Venice, Telluride and Toronto, the film should play for critics, audiences and awards voters alike.
McCarthy’s first two films, “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” were followed by another smart relationship film, “Win Win” (Q & A here), and McCarthy put in some time with the Pixar brain trust on “Up,” for which he shared an original screenplay Oscar nomination. While McCarthy’s actors admit that he’s tough, he aways pulls superb performances from them—although few folks went to see his last, “The Cobbler,” starring Adam Sandler. He has quickly been redeemed, as “Birdman” star Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber all shine in this intense and emotional investigative drama.
I interviewed McCarthy and Singer in Telluride, below.
Anne Thompson: One reason the movie is very good is the screenplay. Tell me where you started, how long it took, what was the process?