Coming from director Lina Roessler and Screen Media is the story of two people who turn out to need each other during the worst of times with BEST SELLERS.
Lucy Stanbridge (Aubrey Plaza) is running a publishing company inherited from her father that needs a boost of energy to get it back on track. Turning to assistant Rachel Spence (Ellen Wong), they go through their list of writers they could work with, and the name Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) comes up.
First, they have to get through the door to meet with him! Shaw is not a pleasant individual and he makes sure that everyone knows it. Reminding him of his contractual obligations, Lucy reminds him that the publishing company is owed another book. Realizing he is in financial trouble, he gives up the manuscript for The Future is X-Rated.
Not happy that the book also has to be edited, he goes on a rant with not wanting his words “in incompetent hands”. That’s when Lucy makes him a deal, go on a book tour and the manuscript will not be edited. At his first public reading, he uses the word “bullshite” and takes off like hair on fire.
Shaw does not understand the fuss but if it gets him what he wants, then “bullshite” it is! Yet, the underlying story of both Lucy and Shaw become clearer and their working relationship changes as truth spill out and history gets cleaned up.
That’s the real story!
Caine as Shaw gets the opportunity to jump right in to being a grumpy, cantankerous, outspoken old man who wants to smoke his cigars and drink till he can not remember anything. Washing away his life memories, Caine gives his character no filter and no excuses in the beginning but all of that hides Shaw’s truths that cannot be hidden anymore.
Plaza as Lucy is a young woman who has a clear incentive to keeping her father’s publishing company up and running. Her character is clearly capable of doing the job, but her time with Shaw begins to change her perspective on life and as realities begin to change, Plaza gives us a young woman who begins to see things quite differently.
Also in the film is Scott Speedman as Jack Sinclair, Cary Elwes as Halpren Nolan, and Veronica Ferres as Drew Davis.
Screen Media is an international distributor of television series and films, licensing content through theatrical, home video, pay-per-view, free, cable and pay television, and subscription and advertising video-on-demand platforms. In 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. acquired Screen Media which is in its 23rd year as a leading global independent distribution company. With one of the largest independently owned libraries of filmed entertainment in the world and license agreements across all forms of media, Screen Media’s distribution capability enables direct distribution of all rights in all countries, thus enhancing the profitability of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment productions. The company is continually looking to add films and television series to its content library.
Caine and Plaza are amazing together playing off one another’s fears and life stories. On screen together they give their characters such life in the midst of pain and frustration. The story is a simple one but filled with emotion that just gave me a heart pitty-pats. It is a very cool opportunity to watch these actors explore their lives from different angels.
BEST SELLERS is a heartwarming and heart wrenching film that is worth of a watch and a box of Kleenex. The film was also the Gala Presentation – 2021 Berlinale Film Festival. The relationship between these two characters begins with such anger and hostility but those emotions clearly mask what is really going on with both Shaw and Lucy. Watching these two actors bring out the best and worst is worth every frame.
In the end – the story is not always on the page!