Variety has reported that The Orchard has bought North American distribution rights to Eva Vives’ “All About Nina” at the Cannes Film Festival.
The movie, which premiered at Tribeca last month, follows a stand-up comedian (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who ditches an abusive lover ( played by Chace Crawford) and heads to Los Angeles, where she continues her hard-drinking ways and finds a promising new love interest (Common). Beau Bridges and Kate Del Castillo also star.
“After years of living this story, I finally decided to make a film out of it,” said Vives, who made her directorial debut with the project. “I am so excited and proud that a company with a track record and taste as exquisite as The Orchard will help me put it out in the world. Working with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common was a dream come true. I hope you laugh as much as I did making this film.”
It will be released theatrically later this year.
Congrats to Mary, Eva and the rest of the cast! Can’t wait to see it.
Under the Radar magazine caught up with Mary and her All About Nina director Eva Vives during the Tribeca Film Festival last week. You can read part of the interview below and click the link provided to read it in full:
Do either of you have any experience doing stand-up?
Winstead: Now I do. This was my first foray into it.
Eva Vives: I was there for her first performance.
Winstead: It was one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done, I think. I was kind of paralyzed with fear about it. When we were just at the stage of getting ready to do it, I’d always thought I’d really throw myself into it, and immerse myself in it. I’d do open mics, and I’d do all of these things. But then, I was scared to do it. And then part of me thought, “You know, I’m not really a comedian.” Like, [my character] is supposed to be good at it, and if I just went and did open mics, I’d suck at it. [Laughs] it wasn’t necessarily going to do what I wanted it to do, you know?
So instead I just tried to harness her confidence with it. I’d just go in and believe in what I was saying, and believe that it was funny. It helped that it was funny, between what Eva had written and the consultant we worked with, Jamie Loftus, who came in and helped us as well.
Mary, what are things that excited you most about the role?
Winstead: I mean, all of those things: the layers of the character are undeniable. Sometimes you read scripts, and especially for a woman looking for an interesting role, it’s really clear when it’s there on the page, because it doesn’t happen all the time.
At first I was reading the script just casually, but then I was reading it, and reading it, and reading it, and I got through to the end and just went, “Oh my god.” This was an incredible opportunity to be really challenged by a character, and also to do something really meaningful in terms of what it was saying. It was kind of a no-brainer. When I met with Eva, I was so on board immediately.
The role looks like it was very challenging. The character shows such a wide range of emotion – she’ll be on stage, confident and in command in one scene, and then a crying mess moments later.
Winstead: It was a challenge, which is what I wanted. The best experiences, for me, are when you’re excited about something and then you go to do it, and you’re sick with nerves over whether you actually might be able to pull it off. As awful as that moment is, it’s always the best. That’s really what I strive for in the roles I take on.
Following some reviews praising Mary’s performance in All About Nina, I’ve found one more interview with her and director Eva Vives which you can [partly] read below. Click here to read it in full. Additionally, The Playlist has also written their review applauding Mary’s work. You can read that after the cut…
You’re taking on this new role as a wayward comedian. Did you ever get involved and go to the comedy clubs and get on stage?
I did but I did not get on stage—even though I intended to! I talked a big talk for awhile there. I was like, “yeah we’re gonna get out there and do some open-mics and do that.” But the thought of that made me want to throw up. I really just couldn’t do that. And the closer we got to shooting, the more scared I was getting. So I decided to approach it more from an acting perspective as playing someone who’s a really good comic because I felt that I myself wouldn’t be. So instead I watched a lot of comedy and saw a lot of shows with Eva [Vives]. We took a lot from what we saw and then we worked with other comedians in terms of trying to craft and create a character that could feel like it could come from me but isn’t me.
Was there any newfound respect or hatred you gained going through that experience?
I mean yes and no because I’ve always had huge respect for comedians. I’ve always seen it as something that seems like the most nerve-wracking, difficult thing to do. To get up on stage and ask for their laughter is to me just an incredibly vulnerable thing to do. It’s just really brave. I’ve always felt like that and I think that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to take the part. I thought it would be a great thing to at least pretend to be that kind of person to have the balls to go up and do that.
Vulture interviewed Mary, her All About Nina co-star Common and the film’s director Eva Vives during the Tribeca Film Festival. You can watch their Q&A below along with a game they played.
Additionally, moveable interviewed Eva and what it was like working with Mary during production:
It was great. I mean, what a cast to have for a first film especially. And I love their acting, but [Mary and Common] are also the two of the nicest people. I got so lucky with Mary in particular, because I was a little worried that it’s a punishing part in many ways and I don’t think she looked at it that way – because she’s insane, and I mean that in a good way [laughs] – but she makes it look so easy. I remember one day I looked at the schedule and it was the [scene where] she met Rafe, [a different scene where she] made out with that dude in the closet, and [another where she] fucked Mike on the same day. Plus, she did a [standup] routine and some other thing. I was like, “Oh, my god. How does she do this?”
It’s very intense to be playing Nina. There’s a lot of funny stuff in it – and she obviously does comedy and can make people laugh, but then there’s also drama. And she dances. There’s a sex scene. It’s just endless. Mostly, we talked about it a lot. [Mary’s] not big into rehearsing, and I can go either way, so we talked about who she is and where she was coming from and what was happening in each scene and the parts we did rehearse were the stand up, which I think was the part that worried her the most although I knew she was going to be totally fine. It was just a question of getting her comfortable and in the rhythm. Together and separately, we watched a lot of comedy, we went to shows and I’m very familiar with the comedy scene, more New York than in LA because I used to be in it, and we had a great comedy consultant in the movie, Jamie Loftus, who is a young comedian who was integral in this because it was her and I, and Mary sometimes, adding jokes and taking it further. Jay Mohr was helpful as well. We just ran our routines past him and took notes.
Ever since “All About Nina” had its world premiere on Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival, critics have not been able to stop raving about not just the film and director Eva Vives’ work, but about Mary’s incredible performance in the role of Nina Geld. In the film, Mary plays a stand-up comedienne who flees to Los Angeles to escape an abusive lover and face her demons. As always, be sure to click on the provided links to read the reviews in full.
The Wrapwrites: First-time feature director Eva Vives (who co-wrote “Raising Victor Vargas”) has a lot to say and finds some provocative ways to express it all. A major late-act revelation, in particular, is likely to be a significant talking point after screenings.
But the movie’s deepest emotional impact comes from an electrifying star turn by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The reliably excellent Winstead takes charge from the moment she swaggers on screen as Nina, a 33-year-old stand-up whose brutal cynicism hides a lifetime’s worth of secrets. There’s a much trickier and more dramatic segment later in the film, which isn’t as deftly written. But it is played with stunning power by Winstead, who fully sells every up, down and reversal Nina experiences. Though the material isn’t quite ready for primetime, Winstead once again proves herself a major player.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead deserves an Academy Award nomination for this performance. “All About Nina” would not be the same without her. A comic with a fear of intimacy, a performer who vomits after their act, these are not inherently original concepts. Winstead, however, shows you them in a way that’s wholly unique. Laid bare at times both emotionally as well as physically, Winstead is asked to do it all. Two very different stand up routines showcase this as well. One is her aggressive, sexualized act, which is meant to put up a wall. The other is a full-blown confession, which is unlike any other stand up set you’ll ever see. It has stayed with me in a big way. If there was any justice, that would be her Oscar scene. Simply put, Winstead has always been a talented actress (“Smashed,” among many other examples), but this is career best work.
The premise offers plenty of room for yet another impressive performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead; balancing its darker moments with humor and warmth, the picture has a broad enough appeal to — finally, movie gods? — get Winstead onto the first-choice lists of top-tier filmmakers. Phobias and lousy decisions notwithstanding, Winstead is no typical rom-com neurotic in the role. The actress makes Nina self-aware and unapologetic, in command of her art if not her libido.
Premiering in Tribeca’s US Narrative Competition, All About Nina should travel further thanks to its of-the-moment female protagonist and Winstead’s memorable performance. It should also help bring Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, TV’s Mercy Street and Fargo) and Vives the mainstream attention they deserve.
Winstead is so strong here that her co-stars can’t help but pale slightly in comparison. An electric turn from Mary Elizabeth Winstead pulses through this striking feature debut from short filmmaker Eva Vives, which effectively shines a light on issues of honesty, identity and equality through the story of a stand-up comedian transplanted from cacophonous New York to the more introspective LA. While the character’s resulting journey of self-discovery may follow familiar lines, it is bracing nevertheless.
Now that Mary did some promotional work at the Tribeca Film Festival for her new film “All About Nina” in New York, we have some new photoshoots to look at for the new year and they’re all fantastic (as usual). All of them were taken during the festival. Check out the gallery for all the great new photos.
Tonight in New York City, Mary attended the world premiere of her new film, All About Nina. At the event she was joined by her co-star Common and the director of the flick, Eva Vives. I’ve begun adding some photos of Mary at the event and from the after party so check back since I will continue to update. Additionally, two of the first reviews have come out. One from co-star Jay Mohr and another from unseenfilms.
Head to the gallery to check out the brand new pics. Mary looks stunning, you guys!
From the #AllaboutNina premiere screening. Respect to my family @common for being a true Leading Man. Friends, #MaryElizabethWinstead will be nominated for an #Oscar
One of the single greatest performances I’ve ever seen in film.
I’m grateful to have shared a screen with her.
That the film works as well as it does is due in large part to the cast especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common who make their characters real people we really like. Winstead should be singled out and up for numerous awards with a performance that is deceptively simple (a comedian with issues? Piece of cake right?) but in fact reveals itself to be filled with very real and very raw emotion. She is not the typical by the numbers movie girl but one many of us know or are ourselves. ALL ABOUT NINA is one of the best of the early crop of films I’ve seen at Tribeca and it is highly recommended.
As you can already tell from the headline, Eva Vives’ new film All About Nina will be debuting next month at the Tribeca Film Festival. You can also check out the first still in the gallery.
Here is the plot synopsis:
Nina Geld’s passion and talent have made her a rising star in the comedy scene, but she’s an emotional mess offstage. When a new professional opportunity coincides with a romantic one, she is forced to reckon with the intersection of her life and her art. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges.
The festival will run from April 18th to the 29th. Ticket information is available on the Tribeca site HERE or by calling (646) 502-5296 or toll free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).