Director Drake Doremus & Composer Dustin O’Halloran on the Personal Experience of Artistic Collaboration

After emotionally ravaging our hearts in 2011 with his strained relationship drama Like Crazy, director Drake Doremus returns with another stirring tale of longing and love’s woes. And with his latest feature Breathe In, we see the talented writer and filmmaker amalgamate themes and emotions he’s explored with his past work, but this time with a heightened and more sensory level of cinematic exploration.

Starring Felicity Jones, the film centers on Sophie,  a British exchange student who arrives in a small town in upstate New York and slowly begins to shift the dynamic of the her host family, played by Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis. As the musician turned piano teacher, Pearce plays Keith, a creatively frustrated man who finds himself drawn to the vibrant curiosity and quiet sensitivity of Sophie, amidst his seemingly pleasant family life. As the two grow closer and their relationship becomes not simply one of lust, but of genuine connection, Doremus’ film explores the opportunities we blindly miss in life, and the desperate feeling of yearning for an ineffable sense of contentment, and a tangible satisfaction in the present.

And as his work is wont to be, Breathe In is rife with  spacial moments in which Doremus allows the film’s score to take the foreground and push the narrative further—but not in such that it feels manipulative or aggressive, but rather embeds itself deeply into the emotion of the story, solidifying a tone that that seeps into every pore and frame. But therein lies the always fascinating work of composer Dustin O’Halloran, whose music unhinges your tear ducts and transports you into a moment with fluidity and grace. And after having worked together on Like Crazy and various other projects, the two collaborated once again for Breathe In, a film in which the importance of music pulls focus in a way neither had experienced before.

A few weeks ago, I mediated a conversation between Doremus and O’Halloran over Skype, in which they discussed everything from their tear-fueled beginnings to the importance of having a creative sense of community.

*For full enjoyment, we’d suggest listening to THIS while reading.*

On their first experience collaborating together:

Dustin O’Halloran: We first started working together on Like Crazy. I was living in Berlin at the time and I was visiting and you were editing your film. I remember seeing this clip of your film, and I’ll never forget that moment, because I sat there, watching this piece that you had put to my music, and I don’t know, it was just crushingly beautiful. I had a breakdown.

Drake Doremus: Yeah, you went to the bathroom and cried for about ten minutes and came back out, and I was like, okay, do we have a deal, are we going to make a movie or what?

DOH: Since then, what I love about what we’ve done together is that you’re always reaching for an honesty that speaks about people’s own lives. Something that I didn’t really expect, was that I would connect with it in a way that would mirror my own life and the feeling that I’ve had. So this gives space to allow me to get into it and to write music that comes from a personal place, rather than working on a film and feeling like you’re just supporting a story—which I think is a different element in working with you.

DD: Yeah, it’s so much different when you personalize it and you’re doing it for that reason, as opposed to working for an end goal, rather than just wallowing in the creative experience and just experiencing it personally. I think that’s been the mandate of these movies, to try to approach it from that perspective and to try and really bring everything from a personal standpoint.

DOH: I think after that first initial film—we did it pretty quickly too. The score I did in about a month, and just weeks later we were at Sundance.

DD: It’s crazy, yeah, especially when you consider we were working together nine hours apart. So my mornings were your nights and vice versa. You’d send us files and we’d lay them in and work with it and then we’d Skype and we’d talk about it and you’d do another version. We were always just kind of missing each other, but we would stay up and figure it out. It’s kind of exciting to work so fast because you don’t have time to over think things, you just have time to just get it right and just make it work. And the same thing with Breathe In, which was a really great way to work, we start out with existing pieces of material of yours and we lay it in and it’s temp, but sometimes it works so well that we end up cutting the scene around that temp and that just stays in and the rest of the pieces of written from scratch. So it’s like a hybrid of existing material and new material that’s composed for the film. I think it’s a really interesting way to work—we’re not temping with anybody else, so you’re a part of the cut of the film from day one.

DOH: I think that’s really important for the tonality as well. You already understand what it is you want from a certain composer or from me, and it allows me to understand. Musical language is a strange thing to speak because it’s so subjective, and I think everyone has their own ideas of sad, beautiful, happy, all of these different emotions. I always felt like I had a lot of room to be myself in your films, which has been great.

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On their early influences and  relationship to cinematic music:

DOH: Probably my biggest influence early on was watching a lot of European films in the ‘80s—the Kieślowski Three Colors trio, Betty Blue, Truffaut, etc. All of these films had strong, emotional stories but also the music was always a really big part. Film scores in general have always been a big influence as well, I feel like those moments when they really come together, it’s one of the most powerful forms of art. I listen to so many different kinds of music, but lately, I find working on my own music, that I’m enjoying the silence of just not listening to music.

DD: I feel like I had more soundtracks to movies than I did movies when I was younger. To me, the music for a film was such a tangible thing. When you watch a film, you don’t necessarily pay attention to the score, you more so pay attention to what the score is doing in the context of the film, and then when you listen to a score outside of it, and it has a totally different circumstance to it. So for me, growing up, I can think of like, for instance the Michael Nyman score for Gattaca—which is so seminal and so beautiful and so haunting and so bold. And the different iterations it’s gone through through the course of other movies.

DOH: The thing that I love about your films is that you always give space for the music. It’s always something that’s accounted for, and that’s something that’s so rare. Usually it’s underscore or it’s an afterthought and they’ve edited everything, but you always give these big breaths for music and you always know it’s going to be there and you always know it’s going to play a part. You know that it will create an arc in the story and that allows so much more room to put something in that’s meaningful.

DD: That’s important to me. I’m a huge fan of letting the movie wash over you and having the experience.  I’m not a big fan of movies that are manipulative, in the sense that they force you to think or feel something as opposed to letting it happen organically. That’s so important musically, to try to find a way to do it in as subtle a way as possible. Then to find the fine line of anti-manipulation essentially, where it’s like, you feel it and if other people feel it, that’s great, but you feel it first and if you don’t, it’s not going to happen.

DD: Yeah, I can’t listen to any of your music and not start crying—for a lot of different reasons. But even from the beginning, if you can feel something from it, and you’re not forcing yourself to do it and you feel it over and over again after you listen to it, there’s something engrained in that, and it’s a sense almost. I feel like with your music, the first time I heard it I was just so emotional, I really, really felt like a connection to it and wanted to be a part of it, and have it be a part of what I do. It’s been a huge part of my last two movies and it’s so important.

On the personal evolution from Like Crazy to Breathe In:

DOH: Like Crazy was basically a story that I lived, which is why I connected with it so much. I married a girl from Italy and moved there for her and I stayed in Europe. So I know that story very well and these long distance and living in foreign places. I think that it effects you in a way you don’t expect.

DD:  Like Crazy was a really personal experience for me and a story that I’d gone through as well, in some respects. With Breathe In, that was just a marriage of wanting to work with Felicity again and wanting to incorporate your more musically. I feel like we really took it even further and wanted to build a ballet or an opera, in a sense that had different movements and variations and act structures. So for me, that was the inspiration for the film, to integrate Felicity again and it’s a similar context but just take it and push it even further.

DOH: Breathe In definitely felt like a different. This was taking all the experiences that we’ve had and taking it more from the outside and creating something. Where as Like Crazy was more of a cathartic experience for us, the sense of longing that’s in Breathe In is something that has a feeling of all the options you have in your life and all of the missed opportunities you have in your life and what you haven’t taken. I think that most people have some sort of feeling like that, and it was a different film too because it was about music. So there was a whole musical element before we started the filming and that we got into. So to be a part of the process so early was a much different experience than Like Crazy, where I was just coming in at the end. This was something where we talked about the music that the characters would play and the tonality that would live in the film, as well as the score.

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On how they fuel themselves creatively when not making music or films: 

DOH: I know you love golf, Drake.

DD: I do like to get out on the course for a few hours and forget about everything and just feel frustrated with all the bad shots you hit. For me, it’s just experiencing different piece of art—music, live concerts, movies, art—just taking in as much as possible and dissecting it and why it works and why it doesn’t work, just taking in as much as possible when not working. I just love watching other people create.

DOH: Definitely. Berlin has been a great city because it’s such a visual arts city, and I’ve been able to see some amazing exhibitions and galleries. For me, that’s been a really big influence, because if you’re working on music twelve hours a day, it’s very hard to go back home and listen to music. So I’ve found the moments when I’ve been wanting to listen to other music is getting shorter, but seeing visual art, for me right now, has been really stimulating. There’s so much music in it and so many things I get to take from that in a different way. I found a really good community.

DD: I have a few filmmaker friends that are great and inspiring, but LA can be such an insular town, everyone’s doing their own thing, it’s not a community like Berlin or New York. I wish it was more that way, where I feel like you’re almost more in a bubble when you’re creating.

DOH: Berlin has been really good for me in that way. Basically my studio situation is there’s six different  studios and they’re all composers. In our room is another composer Johann Johannsson, who is amazing, and Hildur Guðnadóttir and also in Berlin there’s some friends of mine, like Nihls Frahm and Peter Broderick—all really great composers and musicians . That’s actually been really inspiring, because we have moments when we come over to each other and we see what we’re doing and I think there’s a lot of exchange there. Before I was alway working in a bubble and I was in my own world, so it’s nice to just get out of your head sometimes. I’ve really appreciated having other people are to just bounce off ideas and we learn things from each other.

DD: That’s amazing. That’s the exact opposite of how I’m working. I’m basically sitting in a room with my editor when we’re not on set, but that’s inspiring that’s a great way to work.

DOH: When there’s somebody you really trust that’s your peer and that you can show something to and know you’re going to get a good, really honest opinion from, it helps you grow—especially if you have that mutual respect for each other’s work.

DD: That growth is key. That’s amazing.

http://youtu.be/ORhwYpU2nZQ

 

See a New Clip + Stills From Drake Doremus’ Emotional Drama ‘Breathe In’

A few weeks back, we got the first taste of Drake Doremus’ new psychological drama Breathe In. Starring Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce, and Amy Ryan, the emotionally-charged film explores what happens when a family’s foundation begins to crumble—exploring lust’s misguided temptations and the thrill of re-discovering a sensation long put to rest.

Officially the synopsis of the film reads: 
As summer turns to fall, music teacher Keith Reynolds privately reminisces about his days as a starving artist in the city. While his wife, Megan, and daughter, Lauren, look forward to Lauren’s final year of high school, Keith clings to those evenings he’s asked to sub as a cellist with a prestigious Manhattan symphony. When Megan decides the family should host foreign exchange student Sophie, the British high school senior soon rekindles an impetuous aspect of Keith’s personality.
And now you can see a first clip from the film that hints at its “emotionally bruising” effect. When we spoke with Doremus for the release of Like Crazy, he noted that:
[Breathe In] started from my obsession over the last year with classical music and the piano. It started with my composer Dustin O’Halloran, who did the score for Marie Antoinette and then Like Crazy, and just non-stop listening to his piano work. I wanted to write a story set against the backdrop of the fabric of that music…Felicity’s character is a pianist. She’s great in this movie, and it’s a much different character than Anna, much darker and complex. The way we’ve been describing the film is like a darker cousin to Like Crazy; It still retains a lot of the same core integral values of how we make films, just on a bigger, darker, more romantic thriller-y stage. It’s a little bit more of a more romantic thriller. You never know, someone might kill somebody.
Check out the video below, alongside new stills from Breathe In.

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Get a Closer Look at Drake Doremus’ Next Emotional Drama ‘Breathe In’

After Drake Doremus’ debut feature Like Crazy unhinged our tear ducts and broke our hearts back in the fall of 2012, we’ve been eagerly anticipating his next emotionally potent drama. And after premiering to a warm reception at Sundance this winter, his follow-up feature Breathe In has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Starring the adorable and talented Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis, the Dustin O’Halloran scored dark family drama tells the story of what happens when the foundation of a family becomes fractured. Officially, the synopsis of the film reads:

As summer turns to fall, music teacher Keith Reynolds privately reminisces about his days as a starving artist in the city. While his wife, Megan, and daughter, Lauren, look forward to Lauren’s final year of high school, Keith clings to those evenings he’s asked to sub as a cellist with a prestigious Manhattan symphony. When Megan decides the family should host foreign exchange student Sophie, the British high school senior soon rekindles an impetuous aspect of Keith’s personality.
When we spoke with Doremus for the release of Like Crazy, he noted that:
[Breathe In] started from my obsession over the last year with classical music and the piano. It started with my composer Dustin O’Halloran, who did the score for Marie Antoinette and then Like Crazy, and just non-stop listening to his piano work. I wanted to write a story set against the backdrop of the fabric of that music…Felicity’s character is a pianist. She’s great in this movie, and it’s a much different character than Anna, much darker and complex. The way we’ve been describing the film is like a darker cousin to Like Crazy; It still retains a lot of the same core integral values of how we make films, just on a bigger, darker, more romantic thriller-y stage. It’s a little bit more of a more romantic thriller. You never know, someone might kill somebody.
And today, we get a closer look at the film with a haunting new trailer. Take a look below, listen to some O’Halloran gems, and be ready to shed some more tears.
 

 
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Watch Drake Doremus Discuss His New Drama ‘Breathe In’

Drake Doremus made his directorial debut in 2006 with Moonpie but it was last year that he emotionally ravaged our hearts with the strained relationship drama, Like Crazy. Premiering at Sundance last year, the film starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones won Doremus the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film, in addition to making us fall in love with the exquistely beautiful sounds of composer, Dustin O’Halloran—whose score gave the film an added layer of potency and heartbreak. I, myself, have spent many an hour weeping over my own romantic yearnings to his melancholic opuses.

And with his latest film, Breathe In, Doremus takes the themes and emotions he wove together in Like Crazy, and seems to have a deep affinty for, even further. Starring Jones once again with a cast of Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis, the film centers on a foreign exchange student who arrives in a small town in upstate New York and "unexpectedly challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships. As illicit romance blooms, she alters their lives forever." Variety reported that Breathe In, "focuses more on states of mind, using Dustin O’Halloran’s rich piano score to amplify the collective agitation, while capturing from each character’s perspective how one can occasionally feel like an outsider even while clearly part of something." According to IndieWire, who spoke with Doremus at Sundance this week after the premiere, "one of the big impetus’ in making the picture for the filmmaker was working with Jones again, but also composer Dustin O’Halloran who is a major emotional component." From the reviews thus far, Breathe In looks to show a tremendous amount of growth and maturity from the young director and AFI alum whose film has struck an chord with critics and makes me already excited for whatever emotional distress this will leave me in.

Check out the full IndieWire interview with Doremus and have a put your head down on your desk and enjoy the sounds of O’Halloran’s Like Crazy score.

The Best of the Sundance Early Reviews

Reviews can be dangerous. Personally, I tend not to read too many of them until after I’ve seen a film—and even then, only after I’ve processed my own thoughts. What’s the point in seeing a film if you’re just going to walk out of the theater and think, Well that was a disaster, but I know I’m supposed to love it or being profoundly moved by something but knowing that critics felt just the opposite so, I’ll keep this absolute joy to myself. Come on, now. If there’s a discussion to be had about the film before its release, it’s always more interesting to learn about the person or people behind the film and how that person made this specific piece of art and what it meant for them, so you can at least learn the intentions behind the work.

But when it comes to festivals, reviews can really make or break a long-waited anticipation—they can squash the thrill of those nine years of waiting to see if one couple gets together or elate you to know that a director whose first feature you loved didn’t fall flat in their sophomore effort. And for the movies debuting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, most theatrical releases are still unsettled, so a long-lead review may not have the ability to hinder your perception as powerfully as it might if you knew you were seeing the film tomorrow. So for those you not in Park City this week, check out a collection of snippets from this weekend’s reviews, covering some of the most anticipated films of the festival from Linklater’s Before Midnight  to David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche.

Before Midnight, Richard Linklater

"It’s a brave, creative decision on the trio’s part, and it’ll be interesting to see how civilians in the real world react to the film. Falling in love is easy. Sustaining love with the complicated burden of life on top of it all is hard. Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight isn’t the most digestible picture, but its challenging, funny, painful, very present and alive depiction of relationships at 40 is so honest and real that we wouldn’t have it any other way."—Indiewire

"The previous films’ manufactured deadlines—a train departure, a trip to the airport—are no longer with us; the pair are now together until they decide not to be. Turns out, that’s as dramatic as a ticking clock."—The Hollywood Reporter

"Delivering vanity-free turns in which no apparent effort has been made to disguise wrinkles or sagging eyelids, the actors have melded so completely with their roles as to seem incapable of a false note; rewardingly, Hawke for the first time seems to truly match Delpy in emotional stature. The lightly self-reflexive script includes more than a few references to and examples of role play, reminding viewers of the artificiality of two characters who couldn’t seem more authentic."—Variety

"Physical time has to pass for both the stories and the audience, and the resulting authenticity gives the trilogy its magic. It makes the Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight unlike anything in cinema history… Every moment with the couple feels true but never overbearing. Jesse and Celine have never been symbols for all relationships; their love story stands on its own, and becomes fully fleshed out through the strength of the filmmaking and performances. These characters have never been blank slates you project your own experiences onto."—Collider

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery

"Ain’t Them Bodies Saints maintains a strong linear approach that makes the collage of cinematic trickery more philosophically engaging than in his previous work… Lowery doesn’t leave everything up to the imagination: The tense climax, involving a superbly choreographed nighttime pursuit, breaches the subdued rhythm with supreme calculation. It’s easy to figure where Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is heading shortly after all the pieces are put in place, but the surprises of how they get there arrive in every scene." —Indiewire

"Ain’t Them Bodies Saints recalls Malick’s outlaw-lovers drama Badlands and the open-sky beauty of the fable-like Days Of Heaven. (There is, however, no voiceover in Lowery’s film.) Lowery is hardly the first filmmaker to crib Malick’s poetic aesthetic, but his clear confidence in aspiring to the same sort of enrapturing experience is undeniably impressive. When the results are this cohesive and affecting, one begrudgingly acquiesces rather than complains…In tune with the movie’s lyrical style, the performances have an elemental power that’s understated but resonant."—Screen Daily

"The film is a lovely thing to experience and possesses a measure of real power. Emerging cinematographer Bradford Young does his most impressive work yet, combining with Lowery, production designer Jade Healy and costume designer Malgosia Turzanska to deliver a kind of timeless look that feels equal parts Old West, Depression-era Texas and the slow-to-arrive modern age."— THR

The East, Zal Batmanglij

"The second picture in a fascinating collaboration with producer-writer-star Brit Marling, this clever, involving spy drama builds to a terrific level of intrigue before losing some steam in its second half. Still, the appreciable growth in filmmaking confidence here should translate into a fine return on Fox Searchlight’s investment, and generate good word-of-mouth buzz among smart thrill-seekers."—Variety

"The East is a terrific companion piece for anyone who enjoyed Sound Of My Voice… Though the script (by Batmanglij and Marling) could’ve used another polish, as a filmmaker, Batmanglij is still at the head of the class of up-and-coming directors. It’s great seeing him able to paint on a larger canvas here and provide Marling an opportunity to turn in another beguiling performance."—Indiewire

"[Batmanglij] has serious directorial chops. It’s a piece full of tension and intrigue..There isn’t enough properly at stake for the film to earn its facile pro-coporaterrorism ideas, in my opinion, and motivations feel questionable throughout. Nevertheless, I look forward to this guy’s career. He knows how to get a reaction out of an audience."—HitFix

The Look of Love, Michael Winterbottom

 "Before its measure of gravity kicks in, some viewers may find it depressing in its soulless, kitschy period portrayal of immediate gratification… Though all the performances are very good, much of Look‘s entertainment value comes from an impressive tech package that captures the shifting fashions of swinger-favored pop-culture garishness over the pic’s roughly 25-year period… While it’s seldom lingered on, the large amount of fairly graphic sexual imagery may prove a ratings challenge in some territories."—Variety

"Shockingly, for all of the topless women, the movie is surprisingly bland. Raymond is always entranced by a comely naked lady, so it’s doubtful that Winterbottom was trying to show the decline of his protagonist’s libido. More effort is put into the dangers of cocaine than any thoughtful exploration of Paul Raymond’s personality."—Collider

"The script’s biggest failing is not creating a full-bodied character out of Debbie.Loaded with music—albeit some surprisingly obvious choices from the director who made 24 Hour Party People – the film is absorbing on a scene-by-scene basis. But it connects the dots of Raymond’s life in a perfunctory way, without locating a fluid through-line or gaining emotional access to its elusive subject."—THR

The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt

"Ordinary in some ways and extraordinary in others, The Spectacular Now benefits from an exceptional feel for its main characters on the parts of the director and lead actors…Looking plain, even homely and singularly unadorned, Woodley is world away from the svelte little hottie she portrayed two years ago in The Descendents but again is entirely terrific. By contrast, most of the other kids are more recognizably superficial and stereotyped. The adults, particularly Chandler as the jaw-droppingly irresponsible father, are uniformly excellent."—THR

"Ponsoldt’s picture is self-possessed, mature and deeply patient, but it’s perhaps not at the exact pace some audiences are accustomed to…Don’t be surprised if the film is sold like (500) Days Of Summer (or a similar film) when it eventually makes its way to theaters, but this picture is particularly darker, sadder and pained. The Spectacular Now is wise beyond its years, charismatic, measured and authentic in its depiction of the pains, confusions and insecurities of the teenage experience, and while its deliberate rhythm may prove to be a harder sell among the teen crowd, it’s a valuable and honest film that’s worth the investment."—Indiewire

Stoker, Park Chan-Wook

"This being a Park movie—albeit one scripted by actor Wenwtworth Miller—depraved urges and grotesque outbursts linger around every turn, but Park’s formalism positions the mayhem within an alluring cinematic tapestry… Stoker may not break new ground, but it stands firmly on an effective toolbox right through its zany finale. Ultimately a subversive take on family bonds, the movie puts a wry twist on the coming-of-age mold."—Indiewire

"…delivers what the South Korean auteur does best: moody mise-en-scene with intense moments of ultra-violence. This is a dark, dark story, yet somehow Park is able to impart a safeness that allows the audience to sit back and enjoy the thrill ride."—Twitch

"Park’s regular d.p. Chung-hoon Chung appears to be channeling photographer Gregory Crewdson’s eerily high-key Americana in his lighting schemes, while Clint Mansell’s characteristically rich, modernist score is embellished with haunting piano duets composed specifically for the film by Philip Glass. The repeated use of the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra number ‘Summer Wine,’ meanwhile, is typical of the director’s cockeyed take on American culture. Long may he continue to explore."—Variety

Breathe In, Drake Doremus

"Doremus doesn’t seem particularly interested in the melodramatic aspects of his story, skipping over the arguments and fallout almost entirely…The film focuses more on states of mind, using Dustin O’Halloran’s rich piano score to amplify the collective agitation, while capturing from each character’s perspective how one can occasionally feel like an outsider even while clearly part of something. Working again with cinematographer John Guleserian, Doremus opts for a cooler palette, rendering these middle-class problems in tony blues and beiges."—Variety

"…it’s the actors who crush these intense moments of desire and longing into something near breathless…Sensuous and plaintive, Dormeus’ camera once again captures that arresting emotional truth that’s marked his relationship dramas thus far, and there’s even some moments of Malick-ian wonder and beauty… "Breathe In" may telegraph where it’s going late in the game and these irrational decisions might make for some frustrated viewers, but it is without a doubt one of the most emotionally poignant and heartbreaking movies of the festival thus far."

"If the film does have a flaw it’s that the storyline follows a fairly predictable path, but the raw performances and Doremus’ inspiring direction are so effective at getting you invested in these characters that this minor quibble is quickly rendered insignificant by the film’s haunting closing sequence. The key is in the execution, and that’s where Breathe In excels."—Collider

Don Jon’s Addiction, Joseph-Gordon Levitt

"Again, Gordon-Levitt’s confident direction stops the film from going off the rails, but the plot strains trying to make Jon becomes a mature adult… When it comes to the protagonist’s inability to achieve intimacy, Don Jon’s Addiction feels like Shame but with jokes and Tony Danza."—Collider

"…here’s a heavy testosterone-driven pushiness, rather than a deeply felt sex drive as an elemental force of nature that’s crucial to this man’s self-expressiveness, that soon becomes obnoxious, and a lack of self-reflection that leaves Jon, and the film with him, frustratingly one-dimensional.Both as a director and actor, Gordon-Levitt is switched on all the time, offering little shading or nuance."—THR

"Filled with heat, emotion, verve and humor, Jon’s journey to sexual fulfillment is certainly not the most obvious rom-com path to redemption we’ve seen on screen in some time. Replete with characters who love to challenge their stereotypes, Don Jon’s Addiction is a beguiling romantic comedy with a heart, soul and pulse that will pleasure you for a full 90 minutes with hardly breaking a sweat."—Indiewire

Prince Avalanche, David Gordon Green

"What makes the performances so enjoyable and unexpectedly touching is that the parallel arcs of this twin character study are drawn with such delicacy. Hirsch is impish, abrasive and a little lost, with Lance already seeing himself as ‘fat and old’ compared to the younger, cooler guys on the dance floor. In a nuanced turn that swings from funny to angry to emotionally raw and back again, Rudd draws on stage skills that have been largely untapped in his recent films."—THR

"A somewhat surprising vehicle for smoothly commingling Green’s own seemingly unreconcilable career sides, Prince Avalanche (a title he admits makes no particular sense) has room for both very funny physical comedy and a couple of rapturous, stand-alone, near-experimental montages given superb support by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo’s diverse original rock tracks."—Variety

"So even if Prince Avalanche feels more than a bit wobbly, it does show Green once again trying his hand at the idiosyncratic style of his promising early years, an encouraging sign one hopes isn’t just a passing fancy."—Screen Daily