Yes, it’s fun watching animated chameleons, outrageous comedies and aliens destroying the world, but how about a change of pace courtesy of a slice-of-life movie? 3 Backyards’s entirely realistic nature and writer-director Eric Mendelsohn’s unique eye behind the lens helps set the film apart from many of the other films we're seeing in release this month.

The film focuses on three separate people from the same town. Their stories are completely different and never intersect yet all bear the same backdrop, a warm suburban town that paradoxically evokes a sense of isolation. There’s Elias Koteas as a family man who finds himself mesmerized by a mysterious woman; Edie Falco as a boisterous woman thrilled to drive a new neighbor, a movie star, to the local ferry; and Rachel Resheff, a misunderstood young girl who wanders into the wrong backyard.

These are just tiny moments in these individuals’ lives yet one with profound effects not only on themselves, but on the audience watching their stories unfold. Everything in 3 Backyards isn’t what it seems to be not because of flashy CGI effects or tricky plot twists, but because of powerful subtext. How’d he do it? Hear about all the writing, casting, producing and shooting choices and so much more straight from Mendelsohn himself in the video interview below.

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