Two high school kids, a popular boy and a nerdy girl, a setup so often exploited by American films, rarely makes for truly exciting cinema. James Ponsoldt’s film, however, is a treat: the iconic high school setting combined with the excellent cast, Sutter as interpreted by the skilled Miles Teller and Aimee Finicky played by the superb Shailene Woodley ( The Descendants), work wonders in a movie that is more bitter than most American films about teen angst. Ponsoldt also revisits the issue of alcoholism that he previously took on in Smashed. He avoids moralizing or diagnosing, opting instead for a view of a particularly difficult time of growing up so frequently examined by Gus van Sant. Directed with an unusually subtle touch, this film may join the canon of coming-of-age stories.
Seattle IFF 2013 - Futurewave Youth Jury Award; Sundance FF 2013 - Special Jury Prize
James Ponsoldt (b. 1978 in Athens GA) received a BA from Yale and an MFA from Columbia University. His shorts and his feature debut, Off the Black (starring Nick Nolte), have screened at over one hundred international festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca, and Edinburgh.
2003 Coming Down the Mountain
2006 Off the Black
2008 We Saw Such Things
2013 Cudowne tu i teraz / The Spectacular Now