We’ve been big on Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen since its premiere at last year’s Berlinale, calling it “an acutely observed and quietly expansive little film” about the struggles of friendship between two distinctly different women. Although we named it one of year’s best undistributed films just four months ago, it’s opening next week—virtually, given these times—via Grasshopper Film, who’ve premiered a trailer and poster. (Which now makes it one of 10 films to see this month.)
Starring Tallie Medel (Notes on an Appearance, Sallit’s The Unspeakable Act) and Norma Kuhling (Chicago Med), the movie, which I saw last year, efficiently moves across an entire decade, and in 90-or-so minutes captures time’s alternately enriching and corrosive effects in a way that’s practically novelistic in depth.
See both below:
Fourteen opens in virtual cinemas on May 15.
Mara and Jo, in their twenties, have been close friends since middle school. Jo, the more outgoing figure, is a social worker who runs through a series of brief but intense relationships. Mara, a less splashy personality than Jo, bounces among teacher aide jobs while trying to land a position in elementary education, and writes fiction in her spare time. She too has a transient romantic life, though she seems to settle down after meeting Adam, a mild-mannered software developer. It soon becomes apparent that Jo, despite her intellectual gifts, is unreliable in her professional life, losing and acquiring jobs at a troubling rate. Substance abuse may be responsible for Jo’s instability… but some observers suspect a deeper problem. Over the course of a decade, the more stable Mara sometimes tries to help, sometimes backs away to preserve herself, but never leaves behind her powerful childhood connection with Jo.