Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava are outstanding playing the same woman coming to terms with a recent bereavement, in Patricia Rozema’s impressive adaptation of the two actors’ stage play.
Nostbakken and Sadava are Cassandra Haywood, a struggling 30-year-old writer who offers to write and read the eulogy to her mother, even though their relationship was at best combative. Just as she is making sure everything is ready for the funeral, Cassandra muses on the conflict she had with her mother, reliving moments from the past. Steering clear of an overly sombre mood, Nostbakken and Sadava bring sharp humour to play in their detailing the family dynamic. And Rozema makes the most of two actors playing the same character, highlighting the way Cassandra’s grief clashes with her memories of the past and resulting in shifts in mood that play out simultaneously.