Director Nicole Holofcener has been working steadily in the TV field for the last few years. She directed episodes of Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and more, but now, five years after the release of her last feature film Enough Said, she’s back with a new movie – The Land of Steady Habits on Netflix. The movie is an adaptation of the Ted Thompson novel and stars Ben Mendelsohn as Anders Hill, a man experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis. He opts to quit his job and his marriage, and do what exactly? He doesn’t really know.
The Land of Steady Habits just celebrated its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and while there for the event, Holofcener took the time to sit down and run through her experience making the film, working with Mendelsohn, the book adaptation process, choosing whether to do test screenings, and loads more. You can catch the full chat in podcast form using the audio embed below. The Land of Steady Habits is available to watch on Netflix right now.
Here’s the official synopsis of The Land of Steady Habits:
Writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Friends with Money) brings us a drama about parenting, loss and the consequences of our self-destructive behavior. The story features a deeply flawed male protagonist whose tragic mistakes impact and inform the complex relationships in his life. Far from a recognizable tale of a middle-aged rake in crisis, this is an emotionally resonant portrait of a fractured family explored by one of our most keenly observant directors.
Feeling trapped in the stifling, wealthy enclave of Westport, Connecticut, Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn) retires from his job in finance and leaves his wife (Edie Falco) in the hopes that it will renew his lust for life. However, he’s quickly faced with the startling reality of his choices; he spends his days looking for things to decorate his empty shelves, sleeping with strangers and feeling terribly lost.
Missing his ex-wife and on the outs with his troubled 27-year-old son (Thomas Mann), Anders befriends a drug-addicted teen (Charlie Tahan), sending him down a path of reckless and of deeply regrettable behavior. His shameful actions cause him to question who he is as a father and, ultimately, who he is as a person.
Adapting her screenplay from Ted Thompson’s 2014 novel, The Land of Steady Habits also stars Connie Britton, Elizabeth Marvel and Bill Camp.