Director Jenee Lamarque draws upon many an inspiration for her feature debut, "The Pretty One," starring Zoe Kazan. Lightening the story with humor of real life, she was inspired by films such as 'Little Miss Sunshine,' and 'Lars and the Real Girl,' as well as a favorite childhood story, 'Jacob Have I Loved.' Also real life events were a source of inspiration, including the loss of a dear friend.
The Pretty One is a coming of age story, about identical twins, Laurel and Audrey (both played by Zoe Kazan), polar opposites, almost clones on the outside, but so many internal differences. Tragedy strikes early on in the film, when Audrey is killed, and the 'new Laurel' takes on Audrey's identity, through a confusing yet profound process of transformation. A true technical challenge for Kazan was "playing opposite herself, discovering where the layers unravel." She found that working onstage in a theatre setting served her well for this particular challenge. As Laurel grows up and into her new persona, she has new life choices and more freedom of style. Zoe recounts her initial introduction to LaMarque and the film's script: "I auditioned and the whole experience was so enjoyable...the script had a real filmmaker's voice."
From page to screen, the tragi-comic aspect of the story and the depth of character and emotion shines through. It's a fairy tale, much like Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale." A kind of magical rapport ensued between LaMarque and Kazan, almost alchemical. States LaMarque, "we discovered new things, as we worked on body and verse." The film's genre is a dark comedy, a story with both dramatic and comedic elements, with great sadness and great laughter juxtaposed, just as in life.
It addresses the perennial question that twins often ask: 'How does the outer world see you and how do you see yourself?' Kazan sums up the entire film process so succinctly: "From casting to post-production, this film was a huge achievement... one worth celebrating"
The Pretty One
in selected theatres nationwide