Nina (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a mess. A hot mess, really. A stand-up comedian living in New York mining her terrible dating life for laughs and drowning her darker sorrows in as much booze as she can handle, Nina needs to get her shit together. It’s why she decides to up and move to Los Angeles where the change of scenery should hopefully clear her mind. Bonus: TV execs there are actively scouting new female comics for a one-hour comedy special. It’s exactly the career-defining opportunity she desperately needs. Eva Vives‘ All About Nina is the story of how this troubled and extremely funny lady struggles to make others laugh through her pain.
As the Madrid-born filmmaker proved with Join the Club, she has a knack for observational humor with a feminist bent. And her feature film debut proves she’s a talent to watch. More Obvious Child than King of Comedy, this take on stand-up comedy is dark and funny and cringeworthy in all the right ways. To balance out Nina’s bitter humor, Vives surrounds Winstead with two key players that are decidedly more mellow, more “LA”: there’s the dashing and charming Rafe (Common) who’s intent on seducing her and treating her right, and Lake (Kate del Castillo), a woman who lets her crash in the spacious home she shares with her partner Paula (Clea DuVall). Known more recently for playing kickass women (see: Ingobernable), Lake gives del Castillo a chance to tap into her more comedic side. Wearing flowing dresses and chunky jewelry, Lake is the kind of free-spirited new-agey woman who says things like: “The truth will set you free” and “I am water based so I need trees around me.” (“I’m whisky based,” Nina quips back.)
Arguably one of the finest movies to come out of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, All About Nina is also a powerful story about a broken young woman finding solace in humor and alcohol that will surely resonate in the current post-#MeToo movement (which is itself quite telling, considering Vives has been working on the screenplay for years). So if you wanna see Winstead’s Cher impersonation and watch del Castillo go full Mother Earth, look no further than the film’s full-length trailer below.
All About Nina opens in theaters on September 28, 2018.