The Sundance Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco was packed on Monday night for the world premiere of Leland Orser’s new feature film, Morning.
The emotionally powerful film, starring Orser and wife Jeanne Tripplehorn, brought almost everyone to tears with its engrossing story of a couple struggling through the aftermath of their son’s death.
Tripplehorn is so believable as a woman at the very depth of grief and despair, that when we caught up with her during the after party it wasn’t clear whether we should congratulate her or give her our condolences.
“When we talked about me playing the role, I said, ‘You have to look for somebody else. I can’t. I can’t do this. I just can’t do this,'” she said. But with her acting mastery on full display through every moment of the film, it’s impossible to think of anyone else doing it.
Orser, who not only stars in the film but also directed and wrote it said that he got his inspiration from an article in The New York Times.
“It talked about marriage and couples that have experienced this sort of a tragedy. The figures of couples that survived the tragedy of a loss of a child in their lives was really a very frightening and alarming one, and it provoked a lot in me.”
From the sniffling that could be heard throughout the audience on Monday night, the subject matter clearly provokes a powerful reaction in a lot of people. One moviegoer told us, “I had to leave. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I’m going home right now to hug my daughter.”
Morning may not be the laugh-a-minute, feel-good movie of the year, but it helps us appreciate every precious moment we have with our loved ones. It takes one family’s grief and gives us something special for which we can all be grateful.
Michael Chiarello, Eileen Chiarello-Bloom, Elana Rosen
The afterparty at Dosa was a glamorous and cheerful affair, with the relaxed Hollywood North vibe that has attracted filmmakers for years. Producer Todd Traina was joined by wife Katie (who has a cameo appearance in Morning), and family including Dede Wilsey, John Traina, Trevor Traina and Alexis Traina. Hollywood PR powerhouse Hilary Morse arrived with husband Mike Dimkich, rhythm guitarist for The Cult.
Other notables included Jason Ritter, Michael Chiarello, Paula Huidobro, Jeanette Etheredge, Graham Leggat, Vendela Bida, Heather Hartle, Allison Speer, Hilary Armstrong, Joel Goodrich, Ricky Serbin, Jenna Hunt and Lindsay and George Bolton, among others.