The old adage “save the best for last” certainly applied to this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, as the last screening I attended was the thought-provoking, emotional journey called “Future Weather.” I had met its writer, director and producer Jenny Deller at the Tribeca Press Reception beforehand, during which she gave me the film’s background. “Future” lives up to expectations.
Clearly, this is not the kind of story in which you’ll find car chases and explosions. And yet, despite the fact that its main cast is all female, it’s also far from being a chick flick.
In “Future” we’re confronted with a perky and mature thirteen-year old, recently abandoned by her mother, who uses her love of science to fill the gap left by a non-existent family life. Lead actress Perla Haney-Jardine’s Lauduree carries this film with just the right amount of assurance, without appearing too smart-alecky like in a “Juno” sort of way. Lili Taylor’s portrayal of Ms. Markovi , the understanding teacher, is unlike any of her previous roles and Amy Madigan’s beer-guzzling grandma Greta adds a touch of comicalness.
Visually speaking Deller’s direction (she never attended film school, learning filmmaking on her own instead) shows us how great cinema can say a lot without much–or in some cases any–dialogue. Her quick cuts at the opportune moment accentuate humor, the aloneness of characters is revealed through wide singular shots, with multiple close-ups creating intensity.
If ever a filmmaker should feel satisfaction from their Tribeca 2012 showing it’s Deller. Not only did this talented female writer-director-producer present a successful first picture at a major film festival, but she was also able to combine personal storytelling with political conviction. No doubt Jenny Deller’s creative vision could make her the next Nora Ephron, Penny Marshall or Kathryn Bigelow.
“Future Weather” was shown as part of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; find all our coverage here)