by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent
What do we know about 29 year-old Canadian actor Michael Cera? Well, he was 16 on hit TV show “Arrested Development” and brought that wise-old-young-man sensibility to alternative-feeling benchmark films like NICK & NORA’S INFINITE PLAYLIST and SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD. Add odd roles in JUNO with Oscar nom Ellen Page, and the zeitgeist turn in SUPERBAD that same year, 2007, he seemed poised to be a coming-of-age fixture.
Yet he goes silent, drops out of the picture and off the screen from time to time. Ten years later he hits us with PERSON TO PERSON, out now from Magnolia Pictures, in which he stars with comedian Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”) in a day-in-the-life, and it just opened 7/28 in Los Angeles and New York, with selected cross-country release dates listed below.
He’s just so Michael Cera sounding in this film, a guy who always seems to have some indie music element in movies and can go from THIS IS THE END (2013) to SAUSAGE PARTY (2016) seamlessly. You understand why he once said “acting is a such a weird job” with real conviction, as the child of parents with normal lives who worked for Xerox. He plays a goofball editorial type here, with conviction.
In any case, Cera has resurfaced for this new movie PERSON TO PERSON to play another internally conflicted character, who is part of a real-world ensemble here tasked with untangling the sublime out of their ordinary lives… or facsimile of same.
Either way, it’s nice to see Cera back in a lead role, making significantly human smaller-budget movies with a bigger creative impact on people looking beyond the wonder wall of superhero summer blockbusters. Philip Baker Hall is also in this picture, a good time to see an oldie-but-goodie character actor friend from generations on screen. Incidentally, writer-director Dustin Guy Defa scaled-up this movie from his short film of the same name.
As Magnolia Bills This Picture? Read On…
During a single day in New York City, a variety of characters grapple with the mundane, the unexpected, and the larger questions permeating their lives. An investigative reporter struggles with her first day on the job, despite help from her misguided boss; a rebellious teen attempts to balance her feminist ideals with other desires; and a young man seeks to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend, even as her brother threatens revenge. Meanwhile, an avid music lover traverses the city in search of a rare record for his vinyl collection.
OPENING DATES & VENUES
CA, West Los Angeles: Nuart Theatre
NY, New York: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
NY, New York: Metrograph
Ca, Berkeley: Shattuck Cinemas 10
CA, San Francisco: Opera Plaza Cinemas 4
GA, Atlanta: Midtown Art Cinemas 8
MD, Baltimore: The Parkway
MI, Grand Rapids: Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts
MO, Kansas City: Screenland Crossroads
PA, Philadelphia: Ritz at the Bourse
MI, Howell: Historic Howell Theatre
OH, Columbus: Gateway Film Center 8
OR, Eugene: David Minor Theater
TN, Chattanooga: Palace Picture House
CO, Boulder: Boedecker Theater
PA, Pittsburgh: Harris Theatre
Written and directed by: Dustin Guy Defa
Produced by: Sara Murphy, Toby Halbrooks and James Johnston
Starring: Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, Tavi Gevinson, Isiah Whitlock, Michaela Watkins, Olivia Lucciardi, Ben Rosenfield, Buddy Durress, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III and Philip Baker Hall
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