Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 21:30


Jonathan Nossiter
Introduced by

Jonathan Nossiter, Matt Dillon and Jonny Costantino


Thursday 29/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

What is it that makes a Sunday a Sunday? That a person has somewhere to go – and something to do – on Monday. When they don’t, then Sunday is likely no day at all. And every day.
In Jonathan Nossiter’s complex, unsettling, disquieting Sunday, we have two people with nowhere to go: Oliver (David Suchet), a downsized IBM accountant living in a Queens men’s shelter, and Madeleine (Lisa Harrow), a middle-aged English actress with an estranged husband, an adopted daughter and no work.
They meet in a swirl of fiction. “You’re Matthew Dellacorta,” she says to Oliver on the street one early Sunday morning, “the film director.” Oliver agrees that he is. They eat, mate, bond and wrap their manufactured mystery around themselves like a psychic lifeline.
Nossiter is trying to give us an autopsy on fiction itself. When Madeleine asks him to tell her a story, Oliver obliges with his own, complete with the very fabrication they’re experiencing at that moment. She replies with a story of her own, which is her own story, albeit with a horror-movie ending–real life being not too boring but simply too brutal. […] The cinematography (by Michael Barrow, John Foster and Daniel Lerner) is clean and bright and crisp; the effect is a cool beauty and bracing disinterest.
But the real disturbance in Sunday – which won the feature and screenplay prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – lies in the truths the characters tell each other. Even as they dismiss them.
Or use them for protection. Or wield them as weapons – against Madeleine’s unpleasant husband, Ben (Larry Pine), for instance – and the way the line of demarcation always blurs. What is real and what is fiction, after all, is never a case of truth: When Oliver explains the plot of his “new movie” – about a middle-class everyman who’s lost everything–Madeleine tells him what a marvelous story it would be. Even as she’s in it. Even as we watch.
Oliver and Madeleine dwell in different hells together, very personal states from which they cannot escape save perhaps through each other.

John Anderson, Powerful ‘Sunday’ Creates Its Own Joy, “Los Angeles Times”, 22 August 1997 

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal racconto Ate, Memos or the Miracle di James Lasdun. Scen.: Jonathan Nossiter, James Lasdun. F.: Michael Barrow, John Foster. M.: Madeleine Gavin. Scgf.: Deana Sidney. Int.: David Suchet (Oliver / Matthew Delacorta), Lisa Harrow (Madeleine Vesey), Jared Harris (Ray), Larry Pine (Ben Vesey), Willis Burks II (Selwyn). Prod.: Goatworks Films, Ocelot Films Inc., Sunday Productions, double A Films. DCP. 93′.Col