USA – 2007 – 93 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY ANDREW BUJALSKI
BEESWAX is the third feature film directed by Andrew Bujalski (FUNNY HA, HA, MUTUAL APPRECIATION). Like Bujalski's previous films, the cast is made up of non-professional (but carefully cast) actors and filmed with a light, fast-moving crew. The goal is to tell an intimate, peculiar story the likes of which one could not achieve via a more traditional, large-scale mode of production.
The story revolves primarily around a pair of twin sisters — Jeannie, who has been paraplegic since youth and gets around in a wheelchair, and Lauren. (Same face, different bodies...) Jeannie co-owns a used & vintage clothing store with her semi-estranged friend Amanda, while Lauren is between jobs (picking up some days filling in with landscaper friends) and between boyfriends, considering going overseas to teach English.
Tensions are mounting between Jeannie and Amanda, their management styles clashing and communication problems getting exacerbated. An e-mail from Amanda implying that their conflict will end in a lawsuit if necessary sends Jeannie into a mild panic — Amanda's lawyer father had written up all their agreements and Jeannie feels beleaguered and at a distinct disadvantage. She calls on an ex-boyfriend, Merrill, who has just graduated from law school and is studying for the bar, and after falling immediately into bed together, Merrill begins distracting himself from his own problems by trying to assist Jeanie.
￼Various strategies for dealing with the amanda crisis are discussed and pursued, though it remains infuriatingly unclear exactly how serious the crisis is — Amanda remains in the background and no one knows how idle her threat has been. (She claims that she has no interest in wasting time or energy on a lawsuit, and naturally this denial fuels Jeannie & Merrill's paranoia all the more.) When Lauren, at loose endds, gets roped into a familial obligation back home with her mother, her mother's partner, Sally, somewhat overreaching her stepmotherly bounds, tries to involve herself in Jeannie's problems.
BEESWAX is a story about families, real and imagined, people taking care of each other while they want to, when they need to, when they ought to.
Andrew Bujalski previously direct the films FUNNY HA, HA and MUTUAL APPRECIATION. He has won the IFP Someone to Watch Award, and has been awarded grants from the Tribeca Film Foundation, LEF Moving Image Fund, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Both FUNNY HA, HA and MUTUAL APPRECIATION appeared on various top 10 lists of films in the U.S. Andrew's films have been released for commercial distribution in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, Australia, Argentina, Russia, India, Chile, Poland and Israel.
"...a surprisingly sophisticated and savvy social comedy. As a generational snapshot, BEESWAX is plenty acute. All Bujalski needs now is for the people he’s making movies about to start seeing them."
- EYE WEEKLY
"Bujalski uses the trappings of the everyday to ground his characters in a recognizably real world. BEESWAX has a looseness and a dramatic focus that recall early Altman, if that’s not too pretentious a comparison."
- NOW MAGAZINE