A few weeks ago, I contributed to the IndieWire critics survey and discussed how Eva Vives’ All About Nina for the most under-appreciated films of 2018.
I’m not going to re-post what I wrote even though it’s a damn shame that Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s name is not a part of the conversation. I will say that even to this day, Winstead’s performance as Nina Geld is one of the best performances of the year. When I first saw the film during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, I was very impressed with Eva Vives’ screenplay and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance. I especially praised Winstead’s performance in the film in my review following the screening. When the film opened in theaters in late September, I had the opportunity to speak with Eva Vives. Winstead strongly delivers as stand-up comedian Nina Geld. Whether it’s playing across Common or commanding the stage, Winstead is in complete control of the film.
What makes the performance more stunning is that she’s not a stand-up comedian. But you would never guess this from watching the film. This speaks to how much she commands the stage in the film. Even when Nina Geld gets dark on screen with her material, Winstead still gives it her all.
There’s absolutely no reason as to why she’s not in the conversation. I don’t typically discuss awards screeners but I’ve gotten absolutely nothing from The Orchard this year. While I received their awards screeners last year, nothing came my way this year. Not even an email to let me know what they’re campaigning. This brings me to my next point. It’ is super unfortunate that the studio is not campaigning Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Best Actress. I’m placing her name first on every nomination ballot that I submit.
The lack of an awards campaign combined with a dismal theatrical release is very unfortunate. After all, this is a film that could not have been timelier when it was released. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said that Eva Vives wrote and directed All About Nina after the fall of Harvey Weinstein. The reality couldn’t be more different. Production on the film was ending around this time!
A lot of regional critics groups are voting and announcing their winners in the month of December. Unfortunately, the actress has largely been looked over. Even when one takes a look at Rotten Tomatoes, All About Nina is Certified Fresh with a total of 54 reviews. This isn’t enough to get the attention of others. The film had a small release compared to most. Take the Chicago area. The film didn’t screen in Chicago proper but rather in the suburbs.
The thing that I keep going back to is how All About Nina played in under 100 theaters at its widest. Would things be different if The Orchard gave the film a wider release? I can only hope so. Now that the movie is available on DVD and Digital/VOD platforms, I can only hope that the film can now find an audience.