IN YOUR EYES
More recently, Whedon formed Bellwether Pictures, which was set up with the intention of making micro-budgeted that were released outside of the regular distribution chain. Their first effort was Whedons modernised film version of Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing (2013). Their second was In Your Eyes based on a Whedon script. In Your Eyes premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was then released for free online. Whedon stepped back to a writing/producing role and gave the directorial reins to Brin Hill who had previously made the little seen Ball Dont Lie (2004), as well as written scripts for Wont Back Down (2012) and Battle of the Year (2013), all of which fall into the inspirational school life drama category.
In Your Eyes was apparently an old script Joss Whedon he had written back in 1992 way before he had sold any of his other screenplays. A sneaking part of you wonders if Whedon was not inspired by an online romance although maybe 1992 was just a little too early for the impact of the internet as a widespread public paradigm where essentially the whole film is about two people sharing their lives in hugely intimate ways without actually meeting. For a long time, In Your Eyes seems like it is a mumblecore two-person drama if you like a fantastical variant on 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) or Youve Got Mail (1998) with two people exchanging personal details of ordinary life while the camera keeps them separate. This circles around the mundane stuff of their lives but does gain some momentum when the relationship plays out in more standard dramatic ways during the latter third. The other thing that you think of is a film like Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) or In Dreams (1999) and a host of copycat thrillers and tv movies about a clairvoyant gaining a window into a serial killers mind but with the thriller elements taken out and the film played as just a connection between two ordinary people.
The relationship between the two characters works on you. Michael David-Stahl, the lead from the J.J. Abrams-produced Found Footage monster movie Cloverfield (2008), has a certain blankness but eventually impresses on you as a regular guy. Far better is Zoe Kazan, the luminous find from the quirkily appealing Ruby Sparks (2012), who gives the film a charming vivacity. It is the relationship between the two, which Brin Hill directs with the plain ordinariness of digital camera and without false dramatic cues that impresses itself on the film. The low-budget essentially acts as a bare stage that allows the two of them to create their interaction and eventually engage us.
(Nominee for Best Actress (Zoe Kazan) at this sites Best of 2014 Awards).