A woman returns home to care for her ailing mother who she hasn’t seen in years in this tender portrait of family, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Monica is an intimate portrait of a woman who returns home after a long absence to confront the wounds of her past. Reconnecting with her mother (Patricia Clarkson) and the rest of her family for the first time since leaving as a teenager, Monica (Trace Lysette) embarks on a path of healing and acceptance. The film delves into Monica’s internal world and state of mind, her pain and fears, her needs and desires, to explore the universal themes of abandonment and forgiveness.
“During the past few years my mother’s illness has compelled me to confront my past and the psychological effects of abandonment,” reveals director Andrea Pallaoro. “Treading between the interior and exterior, the emotional and physical, Monica explores the complexities of self-worth, the deep-rooted consequences of rejection and the lengths we go to heal our wounds. Through a cinematic language that stems from the juxtaposition of the aesthetics of intimacy and alienation, my creative team and I delved into the emotional and psychological landscape of Monica to reflect the precarious nature of self-identity when challenged by the need to survive and ultimately transform.”
Trace Lysette is an actress and producer best known for her recurring role as Shea on all 5 seasons of Amazon’s critically acclaimed series Transparent, and alongside Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, and Constance Wu, in the feature film Hustlers. She has and continues to be a voice for trans and other marginalized folks in Hollywood and beyond.
Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award and Emmy Award-winning actress, Patricia Clarkson takes on roles as varied as the platforms for which she plays them. This multi-faceted approach makes her one of today’s most respected actresses.
Clarkson’s continuous innovative work in independent film earned her the 2018 British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Sally Potter’s film “The Party.” In 2010 she received rave reviews for her starring role in the award-winning romantic drama, “Cairo Time,” which put her career in the American spotlight. She won the Independent Award for Acting Excellence at the 2009 ShoWest Awards. In 2003, her role in “Pieces of April “earned her nominations for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, Broadcast Film Critics and Independent Spirit awards. The National Board of Review and the National Society of FilmCritics named her Best Supporting Actress of the Year for her work in “Pieces of April” and “The Station Agent.”
2019 garnered Clarkson the Golden Globe Award and Critics’ Choice Award for her role in HBO’s Sharp Objects. The same year she was also seen at the helm of the Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras Parade, she was honored with the Precious Gem Award at the Miami Film Festival, and honored with the prestigious “Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema” from the 54th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Director: Andrea Pallaoro
Writers: Andrea Pallaoro, Orlando Tirado
Cast: Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson, Adriana Barraza, Emily Browning
Producers: Christina Dow, Eleonora Granata-Jenkinson, Andrea Pallaoro, Gina Resnick
Monica is in theaters May 12. More info here.