The best new films featuring top talent make their debut on DIFF screens.
USA, 2016, 90 min., Color
When Tom (Michael Shannon) and his wife host a dinner party to celebrate his birthday, one of their guests brings an intriguing date named Alice (Rachel Weisz). Tom is convinced he knows her, but she refuses to acknowledge their past history. When Alice makes a hasty exit, Tom follows her down the rabbit hole and into the night, where they explore the freedom to shed one’s skin in the anonymity of the big city. What ensues is an all-night odyssey with two characters, one needing to make a change in his life, the other questioning how to stop changing. Director and co-writer Joshua Marston elicits nuanced performances from Shannon and Weisz, as well as an outstanding ensemble cast (including Kathy Bates, Danny Glover, Azita Ghanizada, and Michael Chernus). By turns mysterious, dramatic, and absurdly comic, COMPLETE UNKNOWN is a shape-shifting film about the perils and pleasures of self-reinvention.
— Sundance Film Festival
Robert Halmi Jr., Jim Reeve
Joshua Marston, Julian Sheppard
Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Jonathan Montepare, Jay Van Hoy
Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover, Michael Chernus
Director and screenwriter Joshua Marston was born in Los Angeles and received an MFA in film from New York University. His first feature, MARIA FULL OF GRACE (2004), won the Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and received an Academy Award nomination for best actress. His second film, THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD (2011), premiered at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. Marston also directed the Coney Island section of NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU (2008), as well as several television episodes from series including The Good Wife, The Newsroom, and American Crime among others. COMPLETE UNKNOWN is his latest feature.