TIFF Teaser: Damsels in Distress, Whit Stillman’s (hopefully) triumphant return after a 13-year dry spell
It’s been 13 years since Whit Stillman’s last film, the under-appreciated Last Days of Disco, and for his (oft-cultish) fans, it’s been an agonizing wait. Damsels in Distress, which premieres at the Venice Film Festival before landing at TIFF, mines some very familiar Stillman territory: the social mores of hyper-articulate, privileged American youth who often lack the barest shred of self-awareness. This time around, mumblecore alum Greta Gerwig stars as Violet, the know-it-all leader of a group of alpha girls at an elite East Coast liberal arts college that’s just begun to accept female students. Cue dry-as-a-bone hilarity and cutting observation mixed in with a genuine fondness for his wayward characters (we hope). Not to mention, apparently, two musical numbers.