Director: Domenica Cameron-Scorsese
Cast: Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, Susan Varon, Joanna Adler
The offspring of film-making parents can often have mixed results when it comes to making their own way in the business.
The most high-profile name is Sofia Coppola, who recovered from the debacle of playing Michael Corleone’s daughter Mary in her father Francis’ 1990 sequel THE GODFATHER PART III to carve out a consistent body of films that celebrate feminism and female empowerment, with the likes of THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, LOST IN TRANSLATION, MARIE ANTOINETTE and the recent remake of the Clint Eastwood western THE BEGUILED, starring Colin Farrell.
Another candidate for continuing the legacy of a strong film-making name is Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, who is the daughter of Martin Scorsese and Julia Cameron. Prior to moving behind the camera, she had parts in the likes of CAPE FEAR (1991) and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993), directed by her father. This name association does have a two-fold element, namely whether she can create something of quality in her own right, whilst trying to distance herself from the immense achievements of her legendary film-making name.
Cameron-Scorsese’s debut feature, ALMOST PARIS, actually lends less in tone to the work of her father and more to the tonal qualities of Miramax dramas of the 1990s and the more recent work of Greta Gerwig, who is making waves with LADY BIRD and her previous film with partner Noah Baumbach, MISTRESS AMERICA (2015), co-starring Lola Kirke. The film has already had a high-profile screening at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
Max (Wally Marvano-Lesnevich) is a recently dismissed banker who has returned home to the bosom of his family. His father has a dream of taking his wife to Paris and to enjoy the delights of the Seine, whilst his circle of friends are going through various transitions in their lives. Max also has his eye on a former high-school sweetheart who repeatedly spurns him, whilst his job search eventually lands him with a loans agency. However, it isn’t long before his actions in the City have begun to affect not only his own future, but the security of his family….
ALMOST PARIS is an affectionate analysis of the bonds between offspring and parents and how dreams and ambitions can be thwarted by one flawed decision in life. The performances of the cast are well choreographed by Cameron-Scorsese, who retains a good eye and an instinct for good performances mirroring her father’s when it comes to character development. It is a slow-burner to start with, but it builds to an emotional and quite touching pay-off.
It’s difficult to judge somebody’s work after their first film, but Cameron-Scorsese shows tremendous promise with ALMOST PARIS and is a talent to watch in the future.