The Film Comment Podcast: Michael Cera and Dustin Guy Defa on The Adults
This week, Film Comment is reporting from Berlin, where the 2023 Berlinale is currently underway. Throughout the festival, we’ll be sharing daily podcasts, dispatches, and interviews covering all the highlights of this year’s selection, including new films by Christian Petzold, Angela Schanelec, Hong Sangsoo, James Benning, and many more.
One of the standouts of the festival so far is The Adults, directed by Dustin Guy Defa. The film tells the story of Eric (Michael Cera), a young-ish man returning for a quick visit to the upstate New York town where he grew up. As he struggles to reconnect with his two sisters, played by Hannah Gross and Sophia Lillis, his obsession with poker—and his drive to beat every player in town—keeps prolonging his stay, and forcing long-delayed familial confrontations. The nuanced performances of the three leads, along with Guy Defa’s precise dialogue, pull the film off center, destabilizing what might otherwise have been a familiar comedy-drama of family reconciliation. Instead, The Adults is something far stranger and resonant. On today’s episode, FC co-deputy editor Clinton Krute sat down with Guy Defa and Cera to discuss the making of the film and the ways in which performance can both reveal and withhold.
Stay up to date with all of our Berlin 2023 coverage here.