Newest film from director/writer Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister, Laggies) Outside In, starring Jay Duplass and Edie Falco, releases in Los Angeles and New York on March 30th and on all digital platforms April 3rd.
Outside In is about 38-year-old Chris (Duplass) whose release from prison after a 20-year stint is due in no small part to the tireless efforts of his former high-school English teacher Carol (Falco). The film explores an ex-con’s complicated relationship with the outside world, the challenge of reintegrating into a modern age, and the complexity of feeling romantic love for the married woman who advocated for his freedom. A strained relationship with his brother Ted (Ben Schwartz) and Carol’s coinciding marital woes create additional tension as Chris navigates his way through the world and back into Carol’s life.
It’s Lynn Shelton’s bread and butter to take the mundanities of everyday life, those feelings of hope, love, loss, and directionless-ness that confounds us all, and to amplify these experiences in ways that oscillate between drama and comedy. Her debut film We Go Way Back, which won the Best Feature and Cinematography awards at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival, tells a supernatural-straddling tragic-com tale of a lost young women who’s encountered with the memory of her disenchanted, thirteen-year-old self after landing her first lead actress role. Shelton’s last feature film Laggies, about a woman who befriends a teenage girl out of an almost visceral disdain for adulthood and the expectations therein, feels close to home and partially inspired by Shelton’s own life journey into adulthood. It will be interesting to see the reception of a wider audience to the intensely electric performance of Edie Falco, whose acting chops in both drama and comedy is something of legend (please watch Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos…please? Please?). Jay Duplass gives a nuanced, down-to-Earth, portrayal of a man attempting to make up for lost time that, given his co-writer credit, might just be the perfect balance to Shelton’s creative use of levity and surrealism.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of last year to positive word-of-mouth, with both critical support and general audience goers bolstering its award-season buzz. Its theatrical release, distributed by The Orchard, will follow a screening of the film at SXSW earlier next month.
Outside In releases in LA/NY theatres March 30th.