Early last year it was announced that Mark and Jay Duplass were expanding their indie-movie empire into streaming with a four-film Netflix deal. It made eminent sense, given the kind of filmmaking the prolific brothers tend to foster. Though they continue to turn out interesting, minimalist work on their own, they’ve also slipped into the unlikely role of patrons for the kind of independent movies that have found themselves in flux as arthouse theaters struggle to transition into the digital era and viewership increasingly moves to streaming sources.
After its debut at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival, Alex Lehmann’s feature debut Blue Jay will roll out as one of those Netflix releases, with a small theatrical run. Shot in gorgeous black and white, it’s the sort of romantic comedy that actually functions in the real world, following Mark (who also wrote the screenplay) and Sarah Paulson as high school friends reunited by chance as adults in their California hometown. They reconnect as estranged friends often do, setting off a night of conversation, loaded glances, and the pervasive sense that they’ve both changed since the old days. It’s the kind of intimate duo study that tends to feel perfect around this time of year.
Blue Jay will be available on demand starting October 11th, and will stream on Netflix later this year.