SXSW FILM 2013
By Don Simpson | March 26, 2013
Leigh (Adriene Mishler) and Winston (Jonny Mars) are hosting a dinner party for several of their closest friends. They are not only celebrating Leigh’s birthday, but there is also an important announcement to be made. Once that announcement is revealed, the party is understandably devastated. It is a solid body blow that knocks the wind out of everyone; then, the real kicker, a second reveal, and this one leaves the ensemble cast’s heads-a-spinning.
Writer-director Sean H.A. Gallagher’s debut feature observes a series of morally questionable actions. As the party’s hosts, Leigh and Winston establish the setting and mood for the gathering, manipulating it as they see fit; yet they are not evil puppeteers, their intentions seem genuinely good. The more we learn about Leigh and Winston’s situation, the more empathetic they become. This is why Gallagher sprinkles the narrative with a series of flashbacks, to provide us with sufficient backstory to feed our ever-growing sympathy for Leigh and Winston.
The true strength of Good Night is the top notch ensemble cast. Throw Alex Karpovsky, Todd Berger, Jason Newman and Chris Doubek into a room together and some sort of cinematic magic is going to happen; but there is also no doubt that it is the emotionally dynamic duo of Adriene Mishler and Jonny Mars who turn Good Night into something that is truly special.
We sat down with Sean Gallagher, Alex Karpovsky and Jonny Mars shortly after the world premiere of Good Night at the SXSW Film Festival to discuss the ups and downs of this emotional rollercoaster of a film.