Island author Chris Radant introduces HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a film based on her original story, with Q/A afterwardsUSA | 1995 | 103 mins | Rated PG-13 | Comedy
Directed by Jodie Foster
Friday November 29, 2013
Martha's Vineyard Film Center
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
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Directed by Jodie Foster
Starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg, Cynthia Stevenson, Claire Danes, Austin Pendleton and David Strathairn.
It’s been said that while most people love their families, they don’t always like them very much, and that emotional dividing line is the heart of this comedy directed by Jodie Foster. Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) usually approaches family reunions with a certain trepidation, but as she prepares to fly from her home in Chicago to her parent’s place in Baltimore for Thanksgiving, she is more apprehensive than usual. Claudia has just lost her job, she’s not feeling at all well, and her teenage daughter, Kitt (Claire Danes), who is staying behind, informs Claudia on the way to the airport that she plans to use the weekend to lose her virginity with her boyfriend.
Nobody dishes it out like Family
Thanksgiving is careening towards us faster than we can stock up on Alka Seltzer. How will we get ready? How can we ever recover? And who are these peculiar people we call family?
Island author Chris Radant has had her share of loo-loos, coping by observing the festivities instead of setting any expectations, taking under-the –table-notes and finding the whole spectacle hilarious, embarrassing and awfully touching.
A few years later, her notes became a major motion picture. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, directed by Jodi Foster and starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Ann Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplain and Clare Danes was released. Her book of humorous essays, Home for the Holidays & Other Calamities was published in 7 languages and distributed worldwide.
The notes took place in 1993 and the book and movie were released in 1995. “I still get fan mail every year and there is still a following! I’m still floored by it!” she said. When asked how on earth rough notes became a book and a movie, Chris nods her head, shrugs and answers, “It was an accident.”
“When my parents watched “Home” at a Pittsburgh Premier, mom brought one of those old Polaroid cameras that spit the print out the front, making a sound, ‘ka-chunk, zzzzzzzzzz.’ She took a picture of my name on the screen in the opening credits. That’s right. She kept a picture of my name. Bless her heart.” After the screening, Chris asked if Mom and Dad liked the film. “No,” Mom said, “but we’re awfully proud of you, Punkin’” Later the family sat down and talked about the nature of comedy. “It’s not a documentary…it has very little (ahem) to do with the truth, so please don’t take it personally. I used our Thanksgiving as a template for a dark comedy that I expected to put in a file cabinet with all the others I’ve written over the years.” It was all smoothed over and then they loved the movie. Whew!”
“This is a chance to compare and contrast our holidays. I hope you’ll bring your weird family and enjoy laughing at mine.”
"The movie, which is about the Thanksgiving family reunion from hell, is not exactly a comedy and yet not a drama, either. Like many family reunions, it has a little of both elements, and the strong sense that madness is being held just out of sight."
--Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Foster's second directorial effort is a vividly drawn if too episodic portrait of an eccentric family, well acted by the entire cast, especially Holly Hunter and Robery Downey Jr."
-- Emanuel Levy, Variety
"A wonderful, big-hearted, messy Thanksgiving story."