Michelle Williams stars in the new film “Showing Up,” directed by Kelly Reichardt, which follows the life of a sculptor named Lizzy, who is trying to finish her work for an upcoming show while dealing with her eccentric family and apathetic artist landlord. The film, initially inspired by the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr, evolved into a fictional story about balancing work and life. “Showing Up” is Williams’ fourth collaboration with Reichardt and also stars Hong Chau and Judd Hirsch.
“Showing Up” explores the life of an artist.
“Showing Up” is a comedy that follows the story of a sculptor named Lizzy, played by Michelle Williams, as she tries to complete her work for an upcoming show. The film highlights the challenges of being an artist and balancing work and life.
The movie finds humor in Lizzy’s interactions with her apathetic artist landlord, Jo, played by Hong Chau. The tensions between Lizzy and her eccentric family, who reunite at a chaotic gallery opening, also add to the comedic tone.
However, the film’s emotional depth resonates with some viewers. At the Cannes Film Festival, a young French woman was moved to tears by the movie’s portrayal of the struggles of being an artist.
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Michelle Williams’ preparation and Judd Hirsch’s role
To prepare for her role as a sculptor, Williams shadowed artist Cynthia Lahti, whose ceramic figures are featured in the film. Chau also collaborated with mixed-media artist Michelle Segre to distinguish Jo’s artwork from Lizzy’s clay efforts.
“Showing Up” is Williams’ second film that focuses on artists and the parents who shape them, according to a report by USA Today, the first being Steven Spielberg’s loosely autobiographical “The Fabelmans.” Judd Hirsch plays a small but memorable role in both films, portraying Lizzy’s father in “Showing Up” and Sammy Fabelman’s uncle in “The Fabelmans.” Hirsch was drawn to “Showing Up” after watching Reichardt’s 2020 film “First Cow” and praised Reichardt’s quiet, character-focused storytelling.
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