All My Puny Sorrows – Interview with Director Michael McGowan and Stars Alison Pill and Mare Winningham

Based on the international best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows is the poignant story of two sisters-one a concert pianist obsessed with ending her life, the other, a writer, who in wrestling with this decision, makes profound discoveries about her herself.

All My Puny Sorrows just screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Director Michael McGowan and Stars Alison Pill and Mare Winningham took part in a roundtable interview.  Here are my questions from the interview.

All My Puny Sorrows is a compassionate adaptation that captures Miriam Toew’s literary wit shown in the book as well as the tragic struggles of a family dealing with suicide.  Alison Pill carries an amazing amount of the film on her shoulders and delivers ten fold.  The film really hits high notes as Pill interacts with the subtle brilliance of Sarah Gadon and Mare Winningham.  The performances throughout highlight the actors fully tackling their roles with true love and honesty. One of the questions I asked Director Michael McGowan, and his stars was about the importance of getting to do rehearsal prior to the short 20-day filming schedule.

* Michael responds first followed by Alison and finally a lovable short response from Mare!

The film pacing is quite impressive as the movie never lags even through emotionally difficult moments.  Michael and his editing duo of Michelle Szemberg and Orlee Buium have pieced together a vibrant mosaic that shows the deep love in such a tragic story.  I asked Michael about the editing in the film and also about the choices of when to cut or stay in a scene.

The film was shot in North Bay, Ontario.  I asked Michael about the location of his film.

All My Puny Sorrows is a film that is something to keep on your radar!!

Here are some still and behind the scenes shots from the film:

 

 

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