Daniel Noah didn’t exactly base his film, MAX ROSE, on his own relationship with his beloved grandfather, but the way that grandfather dealt with the grief of losing Noah’s grandmother was the inspiration for the film. Grief is depicted as something with as much vitriol as sadness, which is what sets it apart from most portraits of that emotion. It’s one of the things we covered when I spoke to Noah by phone on September 8, 2016. We also talked about the superb sound design that amplifies the emotion of the film, co-star Kevin Pollak’s killer impression of Peter Falk, and I was able to ask one of my favorite questions. That would be, what is it about people who have a perfect comedic sensibility that allows them to do more with a dramatic role than actors known for their dramatic work.
We finished up with Noah describing his obsession to cast Jerry Lewis in the role of Max Rose, but we started with what it was like to visit the Cannes Film Festival with Lewis, who is a comedy icon of enormous consequence in France.
MAX ROSE is a film about love, grief, and identity. Jerry Lewis stars at the title character, a jazz pianist who has just lost his beloved wife of 65 years. When he finds an engraved compact while going through her things, he comes to believe that his life with her had been a lie, giving his already unresolved feelings of anger and loss an added level of despair. The film co-stars Kevin Pollak, Kerry Bishé, Illeana Douglas, Mort Sahl, Rance Howard, Lee Weaver, Dean Stockwell, Fred Willard, and Claire Bloom. Noah directed from his own script