Compassionate, introspective and quietly in your face, What They Had makes a case for coming to terms….on your own terms. Films where the focal point is around a neurodegenerative disease would be adorned with dramatic weight are a dim a dozen, but first time filmmaker Elizabeth Chomko adds a certain poignancy in de-dramatizatizing the everyday, and finding comedic moments in tragedy and in conflict. Addressing guilt and taking on the anxieties of others, the head strong character of Hilary Swank serves as the film’s core — a deeply flawed mother, daughter, sister and wife working upstream against the angst and pressures of what is a multi-dimensional, generational quintet.
Presented at the Sundance Film Festival and more recently the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, What They Had gets released via the Bleecker Street folks this weekend. Here is my sit down with Chomko.