This headline practically writes itself… Jack Gets Smashed at a Q and A! I can hardly wait to write it! LOL… Seriously though, Jack our resident indie film expert headed down to the new Sundance Cinema’s to check out the indie film Smashed.
Now, I admit… I’ve never heard of Smashed until Jack brought it up to me, ironically Jack didn’t hear of the film until he saw the trailer randomly, so I think I’m in good company. Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Smashed is a film in the same vein as Rachel Getting Married. Dealing with Alcoholism, and…
You know what… I’m shutting up. Jack can tell you way better than I can since he’s actually seen the film! Hello!
Check out his review and his encounter with the stars below!
I love seeing an actor demonstrate their capabilities in unconventional roles like when a glamorous actresses transforms herself into a drastically ugly character (Charlize Theron in “Monster”) or an actress known for wholesome material goes edgy with a quality role (Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married”). Mary Elizabeth Winstead (MEW) now joins that group and proves she isn’t just a pretty face in “Smashed.” In the film, MEW plays an alcoholic elementary school teacher married to a music critic (Aaron Paul), who enjoys the night life by partying every day.
For “Breaking Bad” fans, seeing Paul as a borderline alcoholic doesn’t seem farfetched and his chemistry with MEW is fantastic. Along with Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, “Smashed” showcases the harsh realities of overcoming alcoholism and the effects of possessing quality support to beat an addiction.
Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of this film when I stumbled across the trailer. Immediately flashes of recent indie films dealing with addiction like “Shame” and “Rachel Getting Married” came to my mind, particularly the latter. “Rachel Getting Married” failed to demonstrate the highs and lows of an addiction whereas “Smashed” highlights the repercussions of an addiction with vivid examples showing how relationships are drastically affected when people seek treatment. After seeing the film I really hope MEW gets an awards push because she is on par, if not better, than Hathaway’s performance in “Rachel Getting Married.”
During opening weekend, “Smashed” had several Q&A sessions with the cast throughout the LA area, but only one had the entire main cast (with the exception of Aaron Paul). That one took place at the Sundance Cinemas, where the old Laemmle Sunset 5 used to reside. Not only was I excited about attending a cast screening, but I finally would be able to check out the Sundance Cinemas. However, online reviews had been mixed with some calling it an “Arclight ripoff” and saying the theater possessed “poor service.” Still, I was curious to check it out, especially since it’s a 21+ plus theater.
4:30 Arrived at the theater with two of my friends and we were all blown away by the upgrades, especially with how impressive the lobby now seems. They really transformed it into an impressive lounge area. While my friends decided to grab drinks I went to our assigned seats, which were extremely comfy and very roomy. It felt like you were at a private screening.
4:35 My friends return and inform me the concessions’ registers are down, so no alcohol. However, what made it worse was one of the cashiers had an attitude when taking their order (which was something echoed in early Yelp reviews). Shortly thereafter the film started.
6:00ish- The film ends and the cast/crew is introduced: writer Susan Burke, director James Ponsoldt, MEW, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman and Octavia Spencer. I’m huge fan of everyone for completely different reasons so this should be interesting. They have a moderator from Variety and like I have said in previous posts, most moderators are disappointing and this gentleman was in the same boat. Although they had chairs for all the crew (6) and the moderator, they only had two microphones for seven people so everyone was constantly juggling the microphone back and forth. The questions overall were lackluster, except for one man in the audience who is a former AA member. He proudly showed his glass of beer and said he appreciated what the film accomplished by not being overbearing about addiction. It’s all about moderation and learning to control cravings.
The Q&A ended after 30 or so minutes. The cast stuck around for a little bit talking with their publicists when MEW was ushered out. The main reason why I attended this screening was to meet her but alas that didn’t happen.
(Editor’s Note: I hate it when people get ushered out so fast during a q and a! That’s why they are there. grumble! M-)
However, I managed to get Octavia to sign an Entertainment Weekly
and debated about getting my “Help” Blu-ray signed as well, but didn’t want to seem pushy since no one else was asking for autographs.
Octavia, Nick and Megan obliged several fans for photos, who were lucky enough to approach them. For the most part, the publicists and friends were blocking people (not intentionally), but just enough that unless you were sitting in the front two rows it was difficult to say hi.
Everyone was leaving to attend another Q&A at the Landmark and were going to introduce the next screening at the Sundance Cinemas. As Megan was leaving I was able to get her to sign a “Party Down” DVD for me and she even joked she “misspelled her name.”
Likewise, Nick managed to sign an Entertainment Weekly previously signed by Rashida Jones, but it was a really rushed autograph.
He practically signed N with a line and thanked me for coming. Still I managed 3 for 3 on autograph attempts with MEW being whisked away (I don’t consider it a fail when I don’t have an opportunity to ask). Until the next time, happy autograph hunting!
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