I love how Rebecca Miller’s mind works. With the eponymous Maggie of her film, MAGGIE’S PLAN, she has brought to life a character who manipulates other for their own good, and still seems like the great-hearted soul. And she’s made it a wickedly smart comedy. Perhaps it was only Greta Gerwig who could have pulled that performance off. It’s the first thing I talked about with Miller when I spoke with her on April 23, 2016. We went on to discuss the roots of making Maggie a Quaker, gender behavior in contemporary society, and that astonishing topknot sported by Julianne Moore as the eccentric Scandinavian academic. We finished up with Miller giving a moving tribute to her great friend, Gary Winick, who coaxed her back into filmmaking, and to whom MAGGIE’S PLAN is dedicated. As if to underscore the good deed he did for her, you can hear the sound of sirens in the background during that part of the interview.
MAGGIE’S PLAN is a comedy about love, destiny, and reproduction. Greta Gerwig plays the eponymous Maggie, a college professor ready for motherhood. Her carefully laid plans are disrupted by John, played by Ethan Hawke, a ficto-critical anthropologist dealing with a marriage to a brilliant academic that stymies his fervent desire to produce a novel. When the two meet by chance, or is it fate, passion ensue, as does a broken marriage, an angelic child, and Maggie’s realization that perhaps the way things were before might be better in the future. The film co-stars Julianne Moore as the academic with the fierce topknot and aggressive sweaters, Travis Fimmel as the artisan picklemaker with the goods Maggie thought she wanted, and Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph as Maggie’s best friends and putative Greek chorus ruminating on her pilgrim’s progress through life. Miller directed from a script she wrote based on a story by Karen Rinaldi and her previous work includes PERSONAL VELOCITY, THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE, and ANGELA.