Last week i-D, Diesel and the Woodstock Film Festival hosted two screenings of films we feel deserve your attention. The first was Coming Up Roses, premiered at WFF, the feature debut from Lisa Albright. i-D’s Joe Cohen reports…
Coming Up Roses is the debut film from Lisa Albright, telling the story of a mother and daughter relationship, struggling against the odds, against the backdrop of the 1985 recession in the US. Diane (Bernadette Peters) is a single mother who decides to move with her daughter to Nashua, a blue collar town with a high rate of deprivation and crime. Diane’s dreams of a new life are fuelled by the trauma of her ex husband and father of two leaving, and her dwindling career as a once successful musical theatre entertainer. They are brought to a crisis point when Diane loses her job, pushing Alice (Rachel Brosnahan) ever further into a darker world, as she has to make ends meet and support her mum. Peters gives a superb performance as a depressive mother who longs for love and the recognition of her glory days, and Brosnahan shines as the innocent and over imaginative young girl, striving to make the best out of a bad situation. The on-screen connection between them is particularly powerful considering Peters is a celebrated, seasoned actor and this is the first ever feature film Brosnahan has worked on. As a first time writer-director, Lisa Albright has crafted an important story of the lives of women during a recession that is not all too dissimilar to that of today. The film packs an emotional punch as relations sour between Alice and Diane, and as Alice’s new friend Cat (Reyna De Courcy) seems to be leading her down a dangerous path. The film is not only emotional and timely, drawing parallels to the financial situation many people find themselves in presently, but it is also full of humour and warmth. The fact that it is a debut and was shot in a period of no less than three weeks makes Coming Up Roses all the more remarkable.
i-D online spoke to Lisa after the screening to find out exactly how she pulled it off, and co-founder of the Woodstock Film Festival Meira Blaustein (video below), to find out why she chose the film for her 2011 programme.
Head here to see pictures from the night.
With thanks to Diesel, Meira Blaustein and George Harvey.