Blue Jay (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alex Lehmann|
|Written by||Mark Duplass|
|Music by||Julian Wass|
|Edited by||Chris Donlon|
Blue Jay is a drama romance film directed by Alex Lehmann in his fictional feature debut, from a screenplay by Mark Duplass. It stars Duplass and Sarah Paulson. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2016.
Jim Henderson returns to his hometown in California with the intentions of renovating and selling his late mother's house. While shopping at a supermarket, he bumps into his former high school girlfriend Amanda. The two greet each other, but Jim says he doesn't want to stop her from whatever she was up to. He bumps into her again in the parking lot and the two decide to go for coffee at a place called Blue Jay. The two discuss what has happened in their lives since they last saw each other. Amanda got married, and became the stepmother to two children. Jim worked on building houses with his uncle.
While walking Amanda to her car, the two pass a liquor store they went to frequently when they were younger. Amanda bets that the store owner will recognize them from when they were younger, although Jim disagrees. To Amanda's satisfaction, the store owner does remember the two. He remarks about how the two of them are still together after two decades, and Amanda and Jim jokingly play on about how they are still a couple after all this time.
The two further discuss their current lives in depth, leaving Jim crying and feeling discontented about his life when he hears of how impressive Amanda's life sounds. The two visit his mother's house, leaving them nostalgic over the memories they shared. While rummaging through old memorabilia, Amanda discovers a letter written years ago that is addressed to her. Amanda then discovers tape recordings of Jim and her roleplaying their middle-aged lives. They play the recordings and laugh about how uncool they were. The two eventually share a kiss that leads to the bedroom. But things get stopped when Jim reveals his feelings for her. After, it is revealed that Amanda had an abortion back when they were in high school. They lash out at each other, ending it with Jim crying on the floor.
Jim walks Amanda to her car the next morning, and Amanda explains her decision. Jim asks her to read the letter he didn't send her, saying that he wanted to keep the baby. Amanda begins to cry, and Jim jokes that his crying is contagious in an attempt to ease the mood. Jim and Amanda then sigh at one another and the screen cuts to black.
The film will mark the Duplass Brothers' first film under their deal with Netflix. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2016. Prior to, The Orchard acquired distribution rights to the film, and set the film for an October 7, 2016, limited release before opening through video on demand on October 11, 2016. It was released on Netflix on December 6, 2016.
Blue Jay received positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 92% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 69 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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- Raup, Jordan (July 27, 2016). "TIFF 2016 Line-Up Includes ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘American Pastoral,’ and More". The Film Stage. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- Pederson, Erik (August 11, 2016). "The Orchard Sets Fall Release For Duplass Brothers’ TIFF Pic ‘Blue Jay’". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- Duplass, Mark (September 11, 2016). "Mark Duplass Takes Over The Review To Kickstart Your Film Career". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "Julian Wass Scoring 'Blue Jay'". Film Music Reporter. August 15, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "The Orchard To Release The Duplass Brothers’ "Blue Jay"". The Orchard. August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Patten, Dominic (January 23, 2015). "Netflix Makes 4-Pic Pact With Duplass Brothers – Sundance". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Nolfi, Joey (July 27, 2016). "Toronto Film Festival 2016: Magnificent Seven, La La Land to screen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- "Blue Jay". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- Kay, Jeremy (August 11, 2016). "The Orchard to release TIFF entry 'Blue Jay'". Screen Daily. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- Brooks, Brian (October 7, 2016). "‘Newtown’ Opens Ahead of November Event Screenings; Mark Duplass Bows ‘Blue Jay’: Specialty B.O. Preview". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
- Evangelista, Chris (November 21, 2016). "What’s New On Netflix December 2016". Cut Print Film. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Blue Jay (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "Blue Jay". Metacritic.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.