Landline (Gillian Robespierre, 2017)


Early in Gillian Robespierre’s new film, Landline, Dana (Jenny Slate), compulsively scratching a poison ivy rash contracted in a not-so-romantic encounter in the woods with her fiancé, sits across a desk from a co-worker discussing their dates from the previous night. Effusively, the co-worker describes a romantic, hours’ long “epic conversation on the rooftop.” Dana, pausing, responds that she and her fiancé, in contrast, had spent “three hours at Blockbuster.” “We got Curly Sue,” she adds. It’s the kind of specific, funny, and evocative moment that punctuates and defines Robespierre’s work, a moment that deftly situates us in the time and space of the film’s 1995 setting, in a character’s emotional landscape, and in the thematic framework. Continue reading Landline (Gillian Robespierre, 2017)”

SIFF 2017: Landline (Gillian Robespierre, 2017)

Landline - Still 1

Note: as this film is under embargo until its release in the Seattle area, here are exactly 75 words.

Following up their excellent 2014 rom-com Obvious Child, director Robespierre and star Jenny Slate reunite for a family comedy set in 1995. Slate and her teenage sister (Abby Quinn) discover their father (John Turturro) is cheating on their mom (Edie Falco) and spiral out of control into comic misadventures. Robespierre’s films resemble much of 21st century Hollywood comedy in their openness, vulgarity and spontaneity, but they have an emotional depth and maturity that the Apatows can’t fathom.