If you didn't see Waitress
at the theater, put it on your Netflix list now so you'll be able to
watch it soon after its DVD release on November 27.
Waitress is a gem of
a movie about a young woman (Keri Russell) in an abusive marriage
who finds an emotional outlet in pie making. The story is winsome and
heartwarming and, at times, hilarious. As The New York Times
said in its review, Waitress
isn't a feel-good movie, but it is a movie that leaves you feeling good.
It will also leave you wanting pie.
Supporting the radiant Russell,
whose gorgeous face kept me watching Felicity even after she cut
her hair, are Cheryl Hines, of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and
Adrienne Shelly, who wrote and directed Waitress. For Shelly,
the film reflected a talent that had not been evident in her previous
work. But the movie's Sundance premier was bittersweet, since Shelly
was murdered a few months earlier in her Manhattan apartment. At 40,
Shelly was just coming into her own as a filmmaker.
Thanks to Shelly's family and
friends, her work will continue. Shelly's husband, Andy Ostroy, has established the Adrienne Shelly
Foundation to support
women filmmakers. He is also co-producing Serious Moonlight,
which Shelly wrote shortly before she was killed. Cheryl Hines will
make her directorial debut with the film.
Serious Moonlight tells
the story of a powerful female attorney who finds out that her husband
is about to leave her for another woman, so she duct tapes him to the
toilet. Her plan is interrupted when robbers invade the house. No doubt,
the script has the same quirkiness and dark comedic touch Shelly gave
Hines bonded with Shelly during the filming of Waitress
because their daughters were the same age. She told Variety that
she feels honored to be directing Serious Moonlight. "I
feel a great sense of pride to be directing this film. I had such respect
for the work she did. And I love her writing so much. That tone is really
in my wheelhouse." We don't use that expression in my neck of the
woods, but it sounds like a good thing.
I'd be worried about Hines
taking on this film if I'd only seen her in Curb, simply because
I find her character so annoying. But she certainly shined in Waitress.
If she can bring that acting sensibility to her directing, Serious
Moonlight will be a winner. And that would be the best possible
tribute to Adrienne Shelly.