Title: The Pretty One
Director: Jenée Lamarque
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, John Carroll Lynch, Sterling Beaumon, Ron Livingston.
In an elaborate performance act, Tribeca Film Festival award winner Zoe Kazan, granddaughter of the great Elia Kazan, portrays a duelling mixture of loss and awakening, interpreting sister twins Laurel and Audrey, who are physically impossible to tell apart, but have very distinguished personalities.
Audrey has all of the qualities that her identical twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. Alternately, Laurel, sweet but painfully awkward, feels stuck in her life, still living at home, coddling their father and obsessed with the boy next door, for whom she used to babysit. When the sisters reunite for their birthday, tragedy strikes and a fateful mix-up leaves Laurel faced with an opportunity to reinvent herself and her life as her beloved sibling.
When film-maker Jenée LaMarque was asked what inspired her for ‘The Pretty One’, she replied “the idea came to me soon after discovering the fascinating subculture of twinless twins. I came upon a book of first person accounts of twins who’d lost their sibling, and found their stories to be terribly moving; while reading them, tears almost cartoonishly sprung from my eyes. It occurred to me that no film had ever explored this emotional territory. I had to make one.” The female director has managed to set the tone very well, since it would have been very easy to slip in melodrama, which she avoids with a touch of humour here and there, which works as a gateway to the dark subject matter. Jenée LaMarque’s first feature film, undoubtably portrays a lovely tale of identity and the eternal bond between two sisters along with a coming-of-age story about a wallflower who finally breaks out of her shell.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi