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Jean of the Joneses

Directed by Stella Meghie
Canada / United States, 2016 (fiction, 82 minutes, colour, English)

Film Description:
"Writer-director Stella Meghie's Jean of the Joneses is a smart-as-a-whip comedy concerning three generations of vibrant, vociferous, unforgettable women in the Brooklyn-based Jones family. To say that twentysomething writer Jean (Taylour Paige) is at a crossroads would be putting it kindly—she really doesn't know which way she's headed. A vista of unenticing career prospects opens before her, and her latest relationship has just unceremoniously ended. Chronically self-analyzing, she often hangs out with her two aunts, mother, and grandmother Daphne (Michelle Hurst). The women constantly bicker and judge each other's life choices, a routine that's interrupted when the estranged patriarch of the family literally dies on their doorstep. Ray (Mamoudou Athie), the paramedic who takes their 911 call, falls fast for the acerbic Jean. The feeling is more or less mutual, but their potential romance will have to take a back seat to the chaos leading up to the funeral. In a series of sometimes harsh, always-spirited discussions—fuelled by a complex family history, a few drinks, and the occasional toke—the women will do their best to figure themselves out, and to understand each other. [...]"
-- Magali Simard (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Stella Meghie
Produced by: Amos Adetuyi, Floyd Kane, Stella Meghie, Naomi Ward, John Bain, Elizabeth Cullen, Sean Dwyer, Marcel Giroux, Jason Ross Jallet
Principal Cast: Anna Hopkins, François Arnaud, Gloria Reuben, Taylour Paige, Sherri Shepherd, Mamoudou Athie, Demore Barnes, Erica Ash, Cara Ricketts, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Michelle Hurst, Danielle Bourgon, Araya Mengesha, Coco Assad, Dylan Roberts, Jamaal Grant
Cinematography: Kris Belchevski
Film Editing: Aren Hansen
Music: Robi Botos
Production Company: Circle Blue Entertainment, Poke Prod, GPA Films
(sources)

Notes about Jean of the Joneses

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Quotes about Jean of the Joneses

"The messy lives of young aspiring writers and the dysfunctional families that spawned them have long provided fertile if inevitably over-tilled material for many an independent filmmaker. If Jean of the Joneses feels fresher than most multigenerational ensemble dramedies, credit not only the relative novelty of an all-Black, mostly female cast, but also writer-director Stella Meghie's talent for suggesting the invisible bonds that unite her characters, despite their many disagreements and (in some cases) general disagreeability. Inspired by her own family life though not strictly autobiographical, Meghie's endearingly acerbic debut feature is a work of modest ambition and commercial outlook, but that modesty proves intrinsic to its appeal, which deserves to be discovered at more stops along the festival circuit following its SXSW [Film Festival] premiere."
-- Justin Chang (source)

"[Jean of the Joneses] may be set in Brooklyn, but only two days of shooting took place stateside; the rest was filmed over 15 quick days on the streets and sound stages of Toronto, where [Stella] Meghie grew up."
-- Julia Cooper (source)

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