Woman, a Part

Expertly executed…if only more American independent cinema was this poignant and compelling.


A Woman, a Part

Anna Baskin (Maggie Siff, “Mad Men,” “Billions”) is at a crossroads. She’s a successful television actress on a hit network show in Los Angeles and has played the same brittle “career woman” part for years. After a particularly egregious confrontation on set, Anna reveals to her manager Leslie (Khandi Alexander, “Treme,” “Scandal”) that she wants to quit acting — even though leaving her show would result in a huge lawsuit and ruin her career. She impulsively flies to New York in an attempt to return to the past life she left behind, reconnecting with lapsed friends from her ’90s experimental theater troupe: Kate (Cara Seymour, “The Knick,” “American Psycho”), a now-sober, queer ex-actress, and Isaac (John Ortiz, “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Fast and Furious”), a married, struggling playwright.

Isaac welcomes Anna with open arms—an acceptance possibly fueled by his hope that Anna’s celebrity can help his career— while Kate can’t forgive Anna for abandoning them for Hollywood. But when Anna learns that they’ve used her past life as inspiration for their own new play, she experiences a complex betrayal — a betrayal, that, paradoxically, leads her back to the intoxicating security of losing herself in a part. As her return tears open new wounds, all three are forced to reckon with their pasts and uncertain futures.

A WOMAN, A PART marks the feature-length debut of celebrated filmmaker and artist Elisabeth Subrin (“Shulie,” “The Caretakers”). It’s an astute critique of how women are portrayed in media, the ways in which personal relationships intertwine with and shape the creative process, and the difficulty of change — all set against a gentrifying New York City. Siff is a revelation as Anna, movingly portraying a woman at a crossroads who exists in different versions to different people. The role of Kate offers a major showcase to Cara Seymour, who shines as her conflicted, wary friend, struggling to stay sober and create a life for herself outside the spotlight. And Ortiz is sensitive and sexy as an artist hoping to regain past glories while navigating a marriage in crisis.

“Sophisticated storytelling… This debut marks Subrin as a talent to watch.” – Screen International

“This is how you make a feminist film about Hollywood.” – IndieWire

"Touching on issues of artistic survival and the porous boundary between work and pleasure, Ms. Subrin, an accomplished visual artist and filmmaker, sifts addiction, celebrity and the plight of the aging actress into something rarefied yet real." (Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times)
Not Rated
Drama, Women and Film
Elisabeth Subrin
Elisabeth Subrin
Maggie Siff, John Ortiz, Khandi Alexander
Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com

The dilemma of the present-day female actor is the subject of this first fictional feature written and directed by media artist Elisabeth Subrin. Maggie Siff, whose smart intensity as a performer practically guarantees an interesting characterization, here plays Anna, a successful television actor ...

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