Different and quirky. There are flaws involved in Rebecca Miller’s (The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Personal Velocity) film Maggie’s Plan, but it is still an interesting watch. Especially if you want a change of pace from the tent pole films that seem to be dominating movie screens of late. This is a film about people. People with flaws who cannot fly or lift a car over their head.
The title of the film comes from the fact that Maggie (Greta Gerwig – Isle of Dogs, Frances Ha) has decided that she is going to have a baby on her own. She begins the whole process of in vitro fertilization only to meet fellow professor, John (Ethan Hawke – Before Sunrise, In the Valley of Violence), and falling in love. It is tricky as John is married to Georgette (Julianne Moore – Far From Heaven, Still Alice) and they have a couple of kids.
Quickly Maggie is pregnant and she and John are together. They have a daughter, John is preoccupied with writing his novel and so he majority of child care (including John and Georgette’s two kids) falls on Maggie. Three years into their relationship, Maggie realizes that she has fallen out of love with John. She wants out, but doesn’t know how to go about it. Plus she begins to realize that she thinks John and Georgette are perfect for each other. Maggie has to come up with another plan.
In a case of great casting each of the three main actors/actresses is perfect in their roles. Greta Gerwig is funny/charming, Ethan Hawke is fairly clueless and Julianne Moore is cold/driven. They play well off each other and all three have solid screen chemistry when working together. Even though they are all flawed all are still very likable.
Woven throughout the film is a feeling of human warmth and realism. Nobody is perfect (far from it) though all are relatable. It has that feeling of being a slice of life that we all have lived or know someone who has gone through it.
-Commentary with Rebecca Miller
-Controlling Fate: The Making of Maggie’s Plan
-Q&A at the Sundance Film Festival
-Previews of I Saw the Light, Bronze