Chances are you’ll recognize Melanie Lynskey, regardless of whether you know her name. Have you ever seen “Two and a Half Men”? Or perhaps “The Informant,” or “Up in the Air,” or “Away We Go.”
Much like her fellow character actress in the midst of a breakout year, Judy Greer, Lynskey has perfected the art of playing the best friend. But in the new drama “Hello I Must Be Going,” which premiered at Sundance on opening night of the 2012 festival, the New Zealand-born actress takes the spotlight and has now found herself the subject of that ever-elusive buzz.
A New York Times profile on the actress calls the film “100 percent her movie. Starring as a divorced, demoralized woman
in her mid-30s, Ms. Lynskey for the first time in her career is in
every scene,” the author writes.
The description continues: “Her character smokes pot, vomits, sobs, laughs, has sex, romps naked
poolside (not in that order) and aggressively fights with her mother,
played by Blythe Danner.”
Apparently strong female-fronted films are hot this year, with women like Parker Posey, Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) and Katie Aselton (“The League”) heading up some of the festival’s most talked-about movies.
Elsewhere in Utah, another female-led film, “Compliance,” led by Dreama Walker (soon starring in ABC’s “Apartment 23”), caused a controversial audience reaction. The movie is about a man who impersonates a police officer and accuses a fast food worker (Walker) of stealing, ultimately leading to her sexual assault.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an audience member yelled “This is not the year to make violence against women entertaining” after the film ended, leading to a very tense Q&A.