A group of Bloggers were picked from Mom Central to take part in screening the movie Mighty Fine and a Q&A with Chazz Palminteri (Academy Nominated Best Actor for Bullets Over Broadway) and Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse); other bloggers got to speak with Rainey Qualley (Miss Golden Globes 2012). It was an incredible honor to be chosen to view the movie and to have the chance to chat with the actors and the Director, Debbie Goodstein (Voices From the Attic). I have a special appreciation for Independent Film and this was truly inspiring.
A powerful family drama about a father’s love for his wife and daughters, and their vulnerability in the face of his unpredictable and explosive rage. “Mighty Fine”, premiering in select cities May 25th, explores The Fine family dynamic and how the effects of an unstable parent can ripple through a family. The film strikes a chord among those who’ve experienced the often incomprehensible behavior of an abusive parent. It also makes the connection between economic uncertainty and its impact on people whose mental health is already precarious.
Mighty Fine follows the story of The Fine Family as they randomly uproot to New Orleans in another of their Father’s unpredictable life changing decisions. They begin to live an extremely lavish lifestyle as Joe Fine dotes upon his family all the whims of success that you realize is smoke and mirrors. An incredibly unstable and heartrendingly explosive Father, a Mother who tries to keep her family together despite the uncertainty and two daughters caught in the fray between an all encompassing love and the stranglehold of mental disability.
The movie is narrated by the youngest daughter, Natalie (Jodelle Ferland) who tries to find the words to express what is going on in her life. The narration is beautifully done and really gives a heartfelt look into how their life, although chaotic, is still a part of them. Her sister, Maddie (Rainey Qualley), takes the brunt of her Father’s anger as she refuses to pretend that life is ‘fine’ and is the one that loses the most. There are some truly heart breaking scenes with Joe Fine and Maddie as they battle it out. One particular scene almost broke me to tears where she is standing outside looking up at her Father as he holds a gun on the balcony (which you can see in the trailor). And all through this, Stella (played beautifully by Andie MacDowell) the Mother, tries to hold on. She is a Holocaust survivor, which I believe leads to most of her decision to try to see the best in things as she must have seen the worst.
The question on most of our minds was whether this was written with some truth, a kind of inspired true story. Debbie Goodstein’s last movie was a Documentary (Voices From the Attic) about her family surviving the Holocaust, so we were all curious. When asked, she had replied:
“It was a decision based on witnessing my Father and other Men of his era with similar issues.”
My question to Debbie Goodstein wasn’t exactly about the story of the movie, but rather about whether or not she was trying to show how that period (during the latter 60s early 70s) wasn’t as pretty as shows like Mad Men. Here was my question and her reply, you can view it in larger form by clicking on the photo.
I had asked: “Debbie, this is a great sort of period piece considering there is so much popularity of that time 60s/70s and it being popularized by shows like Mad Men. They even started remaking Ads in that style again. Do you hope that this movie kind of runs on that popularity, only showing a different view?”
Unfortunately, I was watching this while my toddler was running around and I somehow lost the screen shot answer! However, she had stated that she was hoping it would and that she also hoped it would shed some light on how things were on the inside.
I was kind of too nervous to actually talk to Chazz Palminteri, what can I say? He’s an amazing actor and although I never thought I’d be star struck in any sense, I was a bit tongue tied! However, thankfully many other bloggers weren’t. Here is his response to the question, “Was it challenging to play this role where you are such an easy to hate character?” Asked by Kristen of Our Crazy Bunch.
I chose to show you this question because I wanted to explain what I thought about Joe Fine (Chazz Palminteri) because I didn’t hate his character like most of the other Moms. I really just felt sorry for him. He was this Dad that ultimately wanted the best for his family, had just sold everything he worked so hard for to take care of them in the way that he assumed he should as a man during that time and it was this losing battle. Although that didn’t give his character the right to be so cruel, it does show that his intentions were ultimately good and his outbursts were not due to the lack of love for his family, but the overwhelming stress of keeping them in the life he believed they deserved. He obviously suffers from a form of mental illness, but as a person who believes goodness comes from our intent, I couldn’t hate him. Chazz Palminteri did a wonderful job in playing both sides of Joe Fine and showing that he wasn’t just a monster, but a Father who was trying the best he could despite his weaknesses; who ultimately in the end lost control of himself and his life.
My question wasn’t asked to Jodelle Ferland, but many of the questions from other Bloggers were!
Mighty Fine hits selected Theaters on May 25th; Find a Theater near you and go see it!
Connect: You can read more about the Film and the Characters on MightyFine-The Movie. Follow the movie on the Facebook Page, @MightyFineMovie on Twitter and see more screen shots from the movie on Pinterest.
I participated in a Blog Tour on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating. The Opinions are my own and are not influenced by any form of compensation.