On What Might Have been (Film Thoughts: Blue Jay)

large_blue_jayDon’t you sometimes wish you could look back at a love in your life and wonder about what might have been? Basically that’s the premise of Alexandre Lehmann’s ‘Blue Jay.’  It’s about Amanda (Sarah Paulson) and Jim (Mark Duplass) meeting at a supermarket. He’s in town sorting out his mother’s things after her passing and she is visiting her pregnant sister. They were together when they were in High School. Initially there is this awkwardness, but then they start talking. This is an indie movie, and it has all the trappings of one – those long meandering shots, the introspective dialogue scenes between the two main characters, it’s even shot in dreamy black and white. You’ve seen it all before, but somehow everything is saved, even elevated, by the wonderful performance of Paulson. I mean, is she even capable of a bad performance? She puts her emotional weight into Amanda so even when the situation would call for the most ridiculous, you are one hundred percent behind her. Duplass is good enough, playing seemingly the same character he plays on most of his roles – aging manchild lost in middle age crisis. But again, it’s all about Sarah. Will this film make you pause and ponder about your own ‘what might have been?’ Perhaps, but I bet the one you won’t forget here is Sarah Paulson.

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