Danielle Deadwyler Is the Beating Heart of ‘Till’
‘Till’ is a small independent film that, despite being written by and starring just four people, doesn’t want to be defined as anything other than a very personal story. The plot centers on three sisters coming to terms with their mother’s suicide, and explores relationships in the face of death.
The film, which was written by three women – Emily Mortimer, Allison Janney and Melissa McCarthy – began as a collaboration between the three of Mel’s cousins in high school, Emily and Allison, and Melissa, the older one who would go on to create the play “Sister Act.” (It also stars Paul Rudd.) The story eventually became its own separate entity, which is pretty much the only way to tell it. In an interview with The New York Times, McCarthy suggested that the film’s name came from the name of a friend who passed away a few months earlier: “We wanted to call it ‘To Be Continued’ because it was a film without the ‘I’ or the ‘me’ in it — just a sort of empty-nested story,” she explained.
“Till” has become a cult film, with millions of dollars made on the film alone (it also earned $10.5 million during last weekend’s box-office), but it’s only at the festival circuit that it’s really gaining traction. It’s never been on a mainstream release, with audiences unfamiliar with the film. But for the first time, the film will have its own IFC Center screening on December 4. The screening will be preceded by a two-hour talk-back from the filmmakers, who will be joined by actors Melissa McCarthy, Allison Janney, Emily Mortimer and Adam Driver. Their conversation will be moderated by IFC’s Jeff Ingold, an independent film critic who has been a champion of films like “Till” in his short-form journalism.
It’s an interesting time for “Till,” as it’s becoming a significant part of mainstream culture.