John Hawkes Challenges Molly Parker In Playroom Clip
Each year the Tribeca Film Festival offers a flood of new features, from midnight movies, to foreign films, brand-new narratives and debuting documentaries. As such, a critic covering the fest is spoiled for choice, and, thus, frequently forced to fill their screening schedule haphazardly. Last year, as I bounced around Tribeca, chasing down press screenings, I made it a point to see The Playroom, and am very glad I did.
Directed by Julia Dyer, the film was her second feature, following 1996's Late Bloomers, both of which were written by her late sister, Gretchen Dryer. But I'd never heard of the Dryer sisters. What drew me to The Playroom was its cast, which included two stars from the HBO western series Deadwood, John Hawkes and Molly Parker. In the drama, set in the 1970s, Hawkes and Parker play a husband and wife who are brewing for a scandalous showdown. Newcomer Olivia Harris makes her screen debut as their eldest of four children, Maggie, who is the heart of the film. In the clip below, courtesy of Yahoo, you can get a glimpse at all three in action, as Maggie shields her siblings from her parents' inevitable confrontation.
This intimate and powerful drama got lost amid the flurry of star-stacked movies that played at Tribeca last year, but I'm glad it has finally resurfaced. Centered on Maggie, the film delivers a subtle yet compelling coming-of-age narrative. Remarkably, Harris shoulders the role with a nonchalant grace, whether Maggie is feuding with her embittered mother, trying to open up to her gentle father, or staying brave for her naïve younger siblings. Though this film hasn't yet gotten much attention, it should. Seek it out.
The Playroom opens in limited release on February 8th.
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