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Festival Updates Interview : LYMELIFE

Faith Salie interviews LYMELIFE director Derick Martini and cast members Jill Hennessy, Emma Roberts, and writer Steven Martini.

DIRECTOR: Derick Martini
SCREENWRITERS: Derick Martini, Steven Martini
U.S.A., 2008, 93 min., color

Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a typical 15-year-old boy growing up in late-1970s Long Island. His suburban existence is primarily marked by a nerdy interest in STAR WARS, fending off bullies at high school, his longtime crush on neighbor/best friend Adrianna Bragg (Emma Roberts), and navigating the dysfunctional terrain of his parents’ rocky marriage—all against the paranoid backdrop of a Lyme disease outbreak, which has freaked out Scott’s high-strung mother, Brenda (Jill Hennessy), and has already claimed Adrianna’s father, Charlie (Timothy Hutton), as a victim. With Charlie out of work due to his illness, Adrianna’s mother, Melissa (Cynthia Nixon), takes a job working for Scott’s father, Mickey (Alec Baldwin), a successful real-estate developer, and soon embarks on a messy affair. When eldest son Jimmy (Kieran Culkin) returns from army training and confronts his father about Mickey’s less-than-discreet adultery, both families are forever changed by the devastating consequences.

Drawing from their own childhoods, director Derick Martini and his brother and cowriter, Steven Martini, bring a palpable sense of place and authenticity to Lymelife. Their alternately funny and emotionally devastating script, brought to life by a talented roster of actors, poignantly reinvents both the suburban drama and the coming-of-age story at the same time. —BASIL TSIOKOS

ExP: Martin Scorsese, Leonard Loventhal Pr: Steven Martini, Jon Cornick, Alec Baldwin, Barbara De Fina, Michele Tayler, Angela Somerville Ed: Derick Martini, Steven Martini, Mark Yoshikowa Mu: Steven Martini Principal Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Rory Culkin, Jill Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Roberts