Filmmaker Gillian Robespierre reteams with her Obvious Child muse Jenny Slate on her sophomore directorial Landline, a divorce comedy set in New York City 1995 which “flips the narrative on its ass and has the family grow together rather than apart,” says the director.
Landline follows the two Jacobs sisters whose individual lives are unraveling: The engaged Dana (Slate) dives into her wild side, while teenage Ali (Abby Quinn) is lost in the abyss of Gotham’s nightlife. The two learn that dad is having an affair, and look to expose him, while keeping it from mom (Edie Falco). In many ways, Landline brings to mind Greg Mottola’s absurdist 1996 family caper directorial The Daytrippers (a Slamdance title) which follows a happily married woman and her kids pursuit across Manhattan to find their father who they learn is having an affair.
Robespierre’s inspiration spring from her teenage life, when her parents broke up, and the bond that she forged with her brother in NYC. It was a time when the director realized that her parents “became people to me.”
Robespierre’s Obvious Child won the 2014 Red Crown producer award at Sundance back, slotted a top 10 spot on the National Board of Review’s best films and a best directorial kudo, as well as two Independent Spirit nominations for Slate (best female lead) and best first feature.
Talking about what gravitated her toward Robespierre again, Slate explains “She does not objectify me for my skill set and she doesn’t objectify me as a woman. It doesn’t matter what your agenda is as a director. Anyone can objectify anybody.”
Amazon snapped up U.S. rights to Landline for $3M. No theatrical release date has been set as of yet.