These are strange times indeed, yet we’ve seen a surprising amount of solid movie choices coming out as of late, considering the lack of theatre choices for many of us. One such film is the genuinely touching and powerful feature film UNCLE FRANK. If you’re a fan of Alan Ball’s work on the small screen with True Blood and Six Feet Under, it’s fantastic to see him bring his sensibilities to a feature once again. This tale of a young girl who decides to follow in her uncle’s footsteps to New York features a brilliant cast and script. Included in that roster, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Stephen Root, Lois Smith, and the great Paul Bettany as the title character. It is profound, poignant, and yet another eloquent take on the family dynamic from Mr. Ball.
Recently, we had the great honor of speaking with Ball, Bettany, Lillis, Greer, Smith, and Macdissi. First up, I sat down with both Lillis and Macdissi. The two discussed working with Mr. Ball and finding the right connection between their characters’ relationship with Frank. Macdissi shares what is a truthful bond with Bettany, as the two create this loving and realistic on-screen romantic partnership. As well, Lillis opened up about working with both Paul and Peter and finding the balance between the three of them. Considering much of the film is a road movie, it was exciting to witness the right chemistry between the three actors, and they found it in spades.
Next up, I spoke to the fantastic Lois Smith and Judy Greer. The two opened up about working with Ball and how this particular story felt as relevant as it did. And frankly, it was exciting to speak with such a legendary actress as Ms. Smith. This extreme talent has worked with everyone from James Dean in EAST OF EDEN to Tom Cruise in MINORITY REPORT. And Ms. Greer was – and she is always – joyfully warm and engaging to speak to during our discussion. Both Ms. Smith and Ms. Greer talked openly about the importance of telling this story and why it can send such a positive message to a modern audience.
Finally, I sat down with the great Alan Ball and Paul Bettany (check it out at the head of the article). Speaking to Paul is always just an exceptional experience. Aside from being an amazing actor, he’s also kind, funny, and a terrific person in general. While he talked about his reasons for taking on the role, he was also quite intrigued by a poster for the 80’s monster flick THE BOOGENS adorned on my wall. I’m waiting to see what he thinks of the movie. As for Mr. Ball, this talented storyteller and filmmaker opened up about telling this particular tale in today’s world and how it has become far more relevant than he expected. I highly recommend UNCLE FRANK, and you can check it out today, available now on Amazon Prime.