Summering isn’t the movie most would expect to see from James Ponsoldt at Sundance. The filmmaker best known for hard-hitting dramas such as Smashed, The Spectacular Now, and The End of the Tour returns to Park City with a coming-of-age film targeted at a young female audience. The story finds best friends Daisy (played by Lia Barnett), Dina (played by Madalen Mills), Mari (played by Eden Grace Redfield) and Lola (played by Sanai Victoria) investigating an apparent suicide at the tail end of summer before they embark on their first day at middle school.
Along the way, they discover more about themselves, and their mothers, played by Lake Bell, Megan Mullally, Ashley Madekwe, and comedian Sarah Cooper in her first acting role.
I had a chance to speak with Ponsoldt about Summering, and he talked about how becoming a parent inspired him to want to make a film that his daughter could relate to. He also talked about how the cast came together, the decision to cast mostly unknown actresses in the key roles, and landing comedian Sarah Cooper in her first acting gig.
This was a real treat for me. Ponsoldt is one of my favorite directors whose films have been a huge part of my Sundance experience.
Summering recently had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. You can check out my review here, and look out for more info on its upcoming release.