It Happened In L.A.
- Official Selection Sundance 2017 -
Director - Michelle Morgan
Producer - Alix Madigan & Ryland Aldrich
Executive Producers - Tom Dolby, Abdi Nazemian, Susanne Filkins, Stephen Nelson
Cast - Michelle Morgan, Jorma Taccone, Dree Hemingway, Margarita Levieva
Editor - John-Michael Powell
Production Company - The Orchard
Format - Alexa
Running Time - 97min
Release Date - 2017
"And yet as a first-timer, Morgan threatens better things to come on two fronts. First in the spiky character roles she creates for Levieva and Angela Trimbur, as a volatile “other woman” pivotal in reorienting Annette’s point of view on relationships, who both succeed in bursting the film’s hermetically sealed bubble. (Following either of these ladies outside of la la land might have been a worthy endeavor.) And second in the precise and playful visuals composed with d.p. Nicholas Wiesnet, which do more than anything else to distinguish the film from too many others of its ilk."
The Film Stage
"Mostly utilizing two shots with spare cuts for conversations, there’s a confidence in the filmmaking largely missing in today’s indie comedies. With Morgan’s specific, slightly heightened diction, the dialogue refreshingly never comes across as improvisation. Nearly every line has a punch to it, making the laughs all the more effective. With a thoughtful eye for framing — reminiscent of Jody Lee Lipes’ work in Tiny Furniture, albeit less sterile — Nicholas Wiesnet’s cinematography patiently finds more beauty in the city than last year’s La La Land. It’s also a personal rarity to single out the costume and production design work, but presumably on a tight budget, Heather Allison and Hillary Gurtler, respectively, do wonders to make each aspect as visually appealing as possible."
"During a couple of cleverly constructed early scenes, the film channels this sharp tone in stark visual terms with Tati-like precision, as when a conversation plays out entirely in front of a giant FX “Green Screen” on a TV set, or when Annette and Elliot argue in the foreground as a Twister game of entangled bodies plays out in the background."
"The film’s edge is only sharpened by cinematographer Nicholas Wiesnet’s evocative use of framing, enchantingly beautiful, but full of static shots and abstract framing to make the characters feel stifled and disconnected from anything outside their gilded nests, as well as a classical score of Vivaldi and Gilbert and Sullivan, among others, that raises the stakes of mundane conversations to the level of life or death that all of the film’s Angelenos irrationally feel. Others have used a similar juxtaposition to great effect – Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” comes to mind, as do the films of Whit Stillman – but Morgan has fashioned something with a bewitching style all its own."
NICHOLAS WIESNET DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY