One of my more anticipated films this year is Ricki and the Flash, which features Meryl Streep as a singer/guitarist who has put music ahead of her family. Although she tries her best to reconnect with her grown kids (Streep’s own daughter Mamie Gummer and Sebastian Stan), certain wounds are hard to heal.
Along with a screenplay from Juno scribe Diablo Cody and a fine cast (Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Rick Springfield), Ricki and the Flash is directed by Jonathan Demme, one of cinema’s most versatile filmmakers.
Though best known for his work on The Silence of the Lambs, Married to the Mob, and Philadelphia, Demme is also a passionate documentarian, which includes such projects as The Talking Heads doc Stop Making Sense and several Neil Young documentaries (including Neil Young Journeys).
So with Demme’s experience with capturing musicians in their element, one should assume the music performances in Ricki and the Flash will be among the film’s strongest aspects.
During the interviews for Song One (which was executive produced by Demme), I asked Anne Hathaway about the qualities she admired in his filmmaking. “One of the things I love so much about (Jonathan Demme) is that he has the best taste of any artist I know,” says Anne Hathaway, whom Demme directed in Rachel Getting Married. “But he’s not a snob. He really is so open to all experiences.”
Hathaway’s complete answer is below, and she also talks about a great piece of storytelling advice she received from Demme. Take a listen:
Ricki and the Flash opens August 7, 2015.