Blue Jay, written and executive-produced by, and also starring, Mark Duplass, opens at the Enzian Theater in Maitland on Friday. The 6:30 p.m. Saturday showing will be followed by a live, remote Skype Q&A with Duplass, who was a guest of the 2016 Florida Film Festival. (See our live interview with him at the FFF below.)
Co-starring Sarah Paulson and directed by Alex Lehmann, in his fictional-feature debut, the romantic comedy focuses on two former high school sweethearts who become reacquainted following a return to their hometown. The OW did not screen the film in advance, but it was well-received last month at the Toronto International Film Festival. (If you miss it at Enzian, it’s already on video-on-demand.)
Blue Jay will be preceded by Pickle (4 stars on our 0-5 scale), a short documentary that played the 2016 Florida Film Festival. Directed by Amy Nicholson, the film focuses on animals who need a little help to survive, who are in, well, a pickle. The film – in both a touching and quirky fashion, complete with animation – depicts the love of one married couple for a paraplegic possum, a fish that can’t swim, a cat with a heart defect and countless other creatures who, like ourselves, enjoy a brief moment in the circle of life.
Pickle won the festival’s Grand Jury award for documentary short, which means it is eligible for a nomination for best short doc at the 2017 Academy Awards. This is the first time that the festival’s winner for documentary short has been eligible for an Oscar. (The festival was previously Oscar-accredited only for short animation and short narrative fiction.)