Screenwriters: Alex Kurtzman, Jody Lambert, Roberto Orci Producers: Bobby Cohen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Clay Townsend Cinematographer: Salvatore Totino Music: A.R. Rahman Production Designer: Ida Random Art Director: James E. Tocci Cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer
Elizabeth Banks, our Navigator Award recipient this year, came out of indie films (opposite Seth Rogen, for example, in Zack and Miri Make a Porno) and has proven her mastery in both drama (as Laura Bush in W. and as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games) and comedy (Emmy nominated for best Guest Actress in 30 Rock).
The range of her artistry shines in this emotional role—a woman from a father-abandoned childhood now the single mother of a twelve-year-old troublemaker. Lo and behold, a stranger named Sam shows up (Chris Pine, who played James T. Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek) with three revelations—he is her brother, their father has died, and he's delivering $150,000 cash as the old man's act of atonement.
Working with this richly human story situation, co-writer Alex Kurtzman makes his directorial debut. Kurtzman's previous works as co-writer / producer include The Legend of Zorro, Transformers, Star Trek, and Cowboys and Aliens. Clearly for Kutzman this is a deeply felt project, one based on true events in his own life. Excellent support work comes from recent MFF awardee Olivia Wilde, who plays Sam's significant other, also from Michelle Pfeiffer who blazes fiercely in the role of Sam's mother. No one gets through this story without undergoing personal transformation—not even, perhaps, the people in the audience.