When The Last Word director Mark Pellington saw his cast read through first-time screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink’s script for the first time, he new their film would be something special. Starring screen icon Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche and AnnJewel Dixon, the movie that just bowed at the Sundance Film Festival follows Harriet Lauler (MacLaine), a retired octogenarian businesswoman who craves control in her life, deciding to write her own obituary with the help of a young journalist.
“It’s the story of a woman, born in the ’30s—which I was—who didn’t have any kind of control over her environment, or her workspace, or her creativity, or her intelligence, and had to be in control, in order to have an alliance with the truth. Let’s put it that way,” MacLaine told me at Deadline’s Sundance Studio presented by Applegate.
“I describe it as Little Miss Sunshine meets Amour,” Pellington said of the Bleecker Street release. “It’s kind of a travelogue exploration of mortality, legacy and how you want to live your life.”
Promoting their film at the Robert Redford-founded festival, the actors’ reverence for MacLaine was clear.
“I have to say, I don’t know how many things have been said about Shirley in her lifetime that she deserves—some that she doesn’t—but the moment I met her, I thought, goddamn!” Heche said of the actress, wearing a pink “pussy hat” in the days following the Park City Women’s March. “Don’t I wish I could be as marvelous and outrageous a spirit as she is.”
Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at www.applegate.com.