Director: Stella Meghie
Cast: François Arnaud, Gloria Reuben, Anna Hopkins, Sherri Shepherd
Runtime: 82 minutes
Showtime: April 23rd, 10:00 AM
Canada Screen Awards Nomination: Best Supporting Actress, Sherri Shepherd
Zurich Film Awards Nomination: Best International Feature Film
“Highly visually controlled, snappily edited, and beautifully acted, Jean of the Joneses is a clever New York comedy about the Caribbean diaspora.”—Sean L. Malin, Austin Chronicle
Jean of the Joneses is a crisply urbane comedy from first-time writer-director Stella Meghie, boasting a sparkling lead performance by Taylour Paige. Meghie’s assured debut, which entertainingly exposes the deeply buried secrets and lies within a multi-generational Jamaican-American family of indomitable women, is astutely observed and highly relatable.
Paige plays the professionally and emotionally adrift Jean Jones, a blocked writer struggling to make good on her promising first novel while taking a “break” from her once-sturdy relationship with her boyfriend.
Seeking sanctuary in the supposedly nurturing arms of her family isn’t the best idea, given that her physician sister Anne (Erica Ash) has her own issues—she just discovered she’s pregnant with a fellow doctor’s child—while classy sister Janet (Gloria Reuben) is going through a very messy divorce.
Then a man who drops dead on the doorstep of no-nonsense grandmother Daphne’s (Michelle Hurst) Harlem brownstone turns out to have been her long-lost grandfather, a revelation that rips the lid off all manner of long-held secrets and resentments.
Meghie garners some terrific performances from her talented ensemble which also includes Sherri Shepherd as Jean’s sympathetic mom and Mamoudo Athie as a bemused paramedic who tries to pick up Jean in the back of an ambulance. But it’s Paige who shines brightest here, dispensing just the right, gently jaded mix of dry wit and affecting vulnerability.
Thank you to Harbourview Optometry Centre for sponsoring this film.