Ever feel like there are multiples versions of yourself existing simultaneously and constantly in conflict with one another?
In Emmy-award winning Patricia Rozema’s Mouthpiece, that concept is made manifest, with Cass, a millennial single writer plunged into crisis by the sudden death of her mother, played by two actresses at the same time, Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava.
The film flits between fantasy and reality with many a striking image along the way from the two actresses riding a bike at the same time through the snow, curl up in a bath and give totally opposing reactions to being catcalled. Musical numbers from the stage production are brilliantly recreated in unlikely places from a supermarket to a funeral home.
It was in fact the brainchild of Nostbakken and Sadava who wrote and performed the original story for the stage. Working with Rozema they then reworked the piece for the screen resulting in a unique, darkly comic and playful yet also powerful look at memory, grief and womanhood across generations. It expertly captures in both a visual and visceral way the often messy and conflicted reality of being a woman and the complexity of female relationships.
We had a zoom chat with Nostbakken, Sadava and Rozema about how the trio worked collaboratively to adapt the play for the stage, how their own experiences heavily informed and shaped the film and what they believe it has to say about the pressures and realities of womanhood.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 12th March 2021.
Mouthpiece is released digitally on demand on 12th March 2021. Read our review here.