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MIFF Closing Night - Language Lessons (2020)

Feature Drama, Comedy 1h 31m
  • Directed by Natalie Morales
  • English, Spanish, with English subtitles
  • USA
  • Australian

Co-writers Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales depict a modern-age bond in this touching SXSW Audience Award–winning film, told entirely across screens.

Adam (Duplass) lives in Oakland, California, with his husband, who has signed him up for two years’ worth of weekly Spanish classes. The lessons are taught online by Cariño (Morales), who is in Costa Rica. Adam’s not quite sure how these classes fit into his laissez-faire, leisurely lifestyle, but when the unexpected upends everything, Cariño becomes the friend Adam didn’t think he’d need.

Language Lessons plays out entirely within the rectangular frames of screens, apps and devices, making it a compelling exploration of how we click and connect in today’s pandemic-addled world. Duplass (The One I Love, MIFF 2014; Safety Not Guaranteed, MIFF 2012) and Morales (Parks and Recreation, Dead to Me) – the latter making her directorial debut – have a disarming, natural chemistry, and their conversations have all the texture of real life: gaps, silences and sudden, unexpected revelations. What emerges is a heart-meltingly relatable platonic rom-com that distils what we’ve lived through this past year: what are the various shades that love can take, and how do we collapse emotional distance across geography, especially when the worst happens?

“Poignant, funny and emotionally resonant, Language Lessons organically develops a heartfelt friendship while its cast exudes warmth and charisma … Easily one of the best, and most surprising, films to be released this year.” – Screen Rant


Presented by Campari

Director

Natalie Morales

Producer

Mel Eslyn

Producer

Mark Duplass

Producer

Jay Duplass

Producer

Will Dowsett

Producer

Natalie Morales

Producer

Ashley Edouard

Screenwriter

Natalie Morales

Screenwriter

Mark Duplass

Cinematographer

Jeremy Mackie

Composer

Gaby Moreno

Country

USA

World Sales: Blue Fox