Alex of Venice

The 2014 Seattle International Film Festival welcomed this film submitted by the US. It's nominated for the SIFF New American Cinema Award for 2014.

Directed by Chris Messina ("The Newsroom"), we watch as a workaholic environmental attorney is suddenly left by her husband; now she has to make her own life. This is actually harder than it sounds because he is a stay-at-home artist and house-husband. He makes the meals, gets their son to and from school, tends the house, makes sure her father stays on his meds and neglects his art. He becomes understandably frustrated, while she is under the gun at work.

We see:
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("The Spectacular Now") Our heroine Alex, has a big case involving some nearby wetlands scheduled for destruction to make way for an upscale development.
  • Derek Luke ("The Americans") is the successful developer our heroine is determined to beat. Problem is, he's also handsome... and charming...
  • Chris Messina ("The Mindy Project") plays George, Alex's husband who feels they have grown apart. He is a kind, decent man, but isn't happy.
  • Skylar Gaertner (Lots of TV) is their son Dakota, understandably upset by the situation at home. He is also a budding artist and has no friends at school. He has no one to talk to....
  • Julianna Guill (Lots of TV) is Anya, her sister; Dad called her to help Alex make this transition. She is a big overgrown kid with a driver's license, but the best thing ever to happen to Dakota.
  • Don Johnson ("The Other Woman") is her father, who seems to falter after George leaves. Is he still getting his meds like he should? He was a former TV star who is cast in "The Cherry Orchard," not realizing what a challenge Chekov can be.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I got the impression that Venice, California is a pleasant, sort of laid-back community of surfers and well-to-do former hippies.

The final ten minutes of this movie belong to Don Johnson! He's wonderful and he owes Director Messina big time for this showcase!