Lynn Shelton


The film landscape is filled with movies about people struggling with the idea of growing up, acting responsible and accepting that they’re an adult, and roughly all of these films feature a man-child as their protagonist. What Lynn Shelton‘s new film Laggies presupposes is… what if one of them was a woman? Megan (Keira Knightley) has been watching from the sidelines as friends get married and start careers and families, but while she’s a bit young for a mid-life crisis that doesn’t stop her from losing her emotional footing when her boyfriend proposes out of the blue. The issue is compounded further when she sees her dad getting a handy from a woman who is most definitely not Megan’s mother, and in shock and disbelief Megan immediately hops in the car and heads out into the night. She meets a teenager named Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) out front of a Grocery Outlet with her friends on the lookout for a “cool” adult willing to buy them some booze, and she agrees to help in exchange for a place to hide out for a few days. Megan may look too young for a life crisis, but one glance is all Annika’s father (Sam Rockwell) needs to know that she’s also too old to be his daughter’s classmate. She explains her situation — well, a heavily redacted version of her situation that includes no mention of a boyfriend or a proposal — and Craig decides to let her stay through the weekend. She tries at first to treat her new […]



Quarter-life crises hit everyone differently, whether it’s paying for a bodega sandwich in change for the third day in a row and coming up short that does it, or resolving to stay in your room indefinitely because you’ve received another wedding announcement from a childhood friend the morning after an OkCupid date with a guy who wanted to sniff your hair, or just realizing that woah, high school was awhile ago and you still don’t have your shit together. It’s even happening to Keira Knightley, one of the so-called Laggies who doesn’t quite have things figured out yet, and is taking the most adult and rational approach to handling her problems: running away and ignoring them. The trailer for the Lynn Shelton film introduces us to Megan (Knightley), a 28-year-old on the verge of something not-so great when she attends her high school reunion. A proposal from her boyfriend (Mark Webber), whom she’s been dating since high school, leads to her fleeing into the night and away from that whole nightmare (ugh, can you imagine getting engaged at your high school reunion in front of a bunch of people you probably hate?) and more or less into the arms of Chloe Moretz (who, for the first trailer in a long time, is not wearing some sort of neon wig). Like an respectable gaggle of 16-year-olds, Moretz’s Annika and her buddies hit Megan up for help buying a six pack “because they left their IDs at home,” and seeing some of her old, fun self […]



Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister was one of the best films of 2012, and is still probably criminally underseen, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to her new film, Touchy Feely, by spreading around its trailer early and often. The film stars Rosemarie Dewitt as a massage therapist who develops a fear of touching and being touched by other people, and even though that sounds like a difficult enough hurdle to overcome already, probably it’s safe to say that’s not entirely what the movie is about. No, the new trailer for the film makes it seem like a metaphor for the larger issue of human relationships, how we make connections with other people, how important those connections are to our wellbeing, and all of that good stuff. Of course, any movie about human relationships is going to need some talented humans to bring the whole thing to life, so Touchy Feely has gone ahead and brought together a cast of people like Ellen Page, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, and Josh Pais to make that happen. Click through to watch the trailer and see how they did.


THR Directors Roundtable 2012

One of the highlights of the Oscar season is the series of round table discussions produced by The Hollywood Reporter, and for good reason. We spend much of the fall and winter comparing drastically different films only on the most basic of levels, who is deserving of awards and who isn’t. Any real conversation between the creators of the best movies of the year is therefore worth watching. Unfortunately, the list of the participants is not often as diverse as the films themselves. This year’s directors’ round table was made up entirely of men, as was the one last year. The same is true of this year’s writers’ panel. Meanwhile, the one real opportunity for us to hear a genuine dialog between women in cinema, the actresses’ panel, was bungled by the typical soft and silly questions that plague American actresses. As Monika Bartyzel so astutely points out in her piece over at, it might not be intentional on the part of THR but that doesn’t make it any less problematic.


Your Sister's Sister

Editor’s note: With Your Sister’s Sister beginning its limited roll-out this week, we thought it best to re-run Robert Levin’s sterling Sundance review of the film, already a Reject favorite. This review was originally published on January 28, 2012. Your Sister’s Sister is perhaps the most high-concept movie I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it’s also one of the funniest and most heartfelt. Sometimes, a precise, discernible pitch really does have potential. And after this film and Humpday (in which two straight male friends decide to make an amateur porn film together), writer-director Lynn Shelton is fast establishing herself as one of the independent film world’s masters of such fare. Her new picture parallels pensive shots of the pristine, misty splendor of the Pacific Northwest with the story of three lonely, likable locals who are searching for happiness. Mark Duplass stars as the directionless Jack, struggling to cope with the recent death of his brother. Emily Blunt plays Jack’s best friend Iris, who is also his brother’s former girlfriend. To clear his head, she offers him the run of her family’s vacation home on a picturesque island off the Washington coast. Iris’s half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is already there, though, looking to escape a trauma of her own: the end of a seven-year relationship. A drunken night with Jack leads to hilariously awkward sex and, eventually, serious consequences when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next day.



There are a good number of reasons to get excited for Your Sister’s Sister, not the least of which is that our own Robert Levin saw it at Sundance and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The biggest reason to get excited today, however, is the release of the film’s trailer. Taking place in the gorgeous scenery of the Pacific Northwest, Your Sister’s Sister tells the tale of a depressed gent (Mark Duplass) who gets sent away by his best friend (Emily Blunt) to her family’s island cabin. Hijinx ensue when Blunt’s equally depressed sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) is unexpectedly already at said cabin, and some drunken sexy time commences. Drama ensues when Blunt shows up the next day, also unexpectedly, and everyone has to work through a tangled web of complex interpersonal relationships and suppressed feelings.



Consider this a bit of friendly advice – get on the Scoot McNairy train now. The actor has been steadily working in Hollywood for over a decade, with roles in film and television projects as varied as Herbie: Fully Loaded and The Shield, but he’s best known for his break-out role in Gareth Edwards’s 2010 indie gem, Monsters. Since then, McNairy has collected a series of interesting roles from a variety of filmmakers that should (and, if Hollywood has any sense, will) make a household name out of him. McNairy will next be seen in Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly (the project formerly known as Cogan’s Trade) and Ben Affleck’s Argo. Not too shabby, right? Let’s just go ahead and add two more high profile roles to McNairy’s resume – Deadline Mexico City reports that he’s signed on for a supporting role in Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land and the lead male role in Lynn Shelton‘s Touchy Feely. All aboard the McNairy Express.



Welcome to Day Two of Kate Christmas. Yesterday, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival announced their first wave of programming, featuring twenty-six titles that will be screening in competition. While the arrival of those titles was enough to send me into a tizzy I have still not recovered from, today the festival has only piled on the pre-holiday goodies with the announcement of their Spotlight, Next, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontiers films. A few titles of note to get your juices flowing – Gareth Evans‘ The Raid (also known round these parts as “oh, hell yeah”), Andrea Arnold‘s take on Wuthering Heights, Katie Aselton‘s second directorial outing Black Rock (scripted by her husband Mark Duplass), Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish‘s Sleepwalk With Me (based on Birbiglia’s hilarious book), and Lynn Shelton‘s Your Sister’s Sister. Again, that’s just a taste, so check out the full list of Spotlight, Next, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontiers films after the break.


The Best Short Films

Why Watch? This look at interwoven lives brought together by a gas station robbery asks the tough question of what happens to humanity when a slip of paper is tossed into the mix. In this case, the piece of paper happens to be a winning lottery ticket. Something so small, can change the course of violence. It’s a tight, yet fairly predictable exercise in human nature, but it’s best feature is undoubtedly Rider Strong. The guy from Boy Meets World is in this thing. Seriously. Check it out. Plus, festival favorite Lynn Shelton (Humpday) has a small but important role. What Will It Cost? Just fifteen minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Only if we bought you a winning lotto ticket while you watched. Check out Your Lucky Day for yourself:



Sundance may be over and all of my reviews may be posted, but there is still a ton of cool stuff that I’d like to share with all of you. Chief among those things are some video profiles of some of Sundance’s emerging talents. Among those talents is Humpday director Lynn Shelton…



If there is one thing that we can take away from director Lynn Shelton’s awkward sex comedy Humpday, it is that there is nothing more uncomfortable to watch yet strikingly hilarious than two straight men who set out to have sex on camera.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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