Sundance London: The Intervention

The Intervention
Directed by Clea DuVall
Starring Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Ben Schwartz, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter and Alia Shawkat

by Joanna Orland

The Intervention will understandbly find itself in endless comparisons with 1980’s film The Big Chill as the film focuses on a group of thirty-something couples who embark on a weekend getaway to intervene on the marriage of their unwitting friends.  This emotional weekend leads to each couple examining their own issues in this smart, well developed relationship drama.

Taking on an ensemble drama is an ambitious project for Clea DuVall’s directorial debut.  Directing herself and a handful of her friends, the actor finds strength in the individual performances as well as the group dynamic of the cast, with the standout being Melanie Lynskey who won the 2016 Sundance U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance for this role.

Melanie’s performance is raw, honest, subtle and endearing.  She brings a strong likability to her troubled character Annie, a woman who keeps postponing her wedding to fiancé Matt (Jason Ritter) while turning to alcohol to avoid conflict.  While happy to avoid the conflict of her own issues, Annie is the orchestrator of the intervention as she leads her friends in the plan to tell Ruby (Colbie Smulders) and Peter (Vincent Piazza) that they should divorce.  By her side is Ruby’s sister Jessie (Clea DuVuall) whose relationship with Sarah (Natasha Lyonne) is being tested through her fear of commitment and attraction to the younger Lola (Alia Shawkat).  Lola is the younger love interest of Jack (Ben Schwartz) whose troubled romantic past has been difficult to overcome.

Relationships and characters are at the heart of The Intervention.  With a solid script penned by DuVall, each character has purpose and depth, notably the female characters as they drive this film forward.  Naturalistic dialogue and the authenticity of the performances provide this film with substance, making it one of the most enjoyable and classically Sundance films of the entire 2016 festival.


Clea DuVall

Read our interview with Clea DuVall

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