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January 2007

First Look:
(Dramatic Competition)

Director: Stephen Berra
Screenwriter: Stephen Berra
Cast: Mark Webber, Harry Dean Stanton, Chris Klein, Bill Paxton, Zoeey Deschanel, Patrick Fugit, Drea de Matteo, Bruce McGill, Donal Logue
Running Time: 106 min

Written and directed by Steve Berra and set in present day Nebraska, THE GOOD LIFE is a movie that cares deeply about the classic cinema that came before it and recognizes, as on some level we all must, that cinema as we once knew it is dying. As THE GOOD LIFE opens we learn that, in Nebraska, football means everything – and since our main character, Jason Prayer (Mark Webber), doesn’t play football, he might not mean, well, anything. Jason works two jobs – at a gas station and, at night, at the once grand Capitol movie house, which is owned and barely operated by Gus (Harry Dean Stanton). Jason’s life becomes extremely complicated as Gus teeters on the edge of dementia while Jason is tormented by speed freak ex-football star Tad (a nearly unrecognizable Chris Klein), tentatively courted by the beautiful and mysterious Frances (Zooey Deschanel) and awkwardly befriended by Robbie (Bill Paxton), a new guy in town who loves old movies. Steeping his film in the motifs of archetypal small town America, Berra demonstrates that he is a master of the unexpected, while Webber delivers a brave performance that gives birth to a new kind of heartland youth hero.

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