Written and Directed by Lynn Shelton
Opening in Toronto
October 11, 2013
Rosemarie DeWitt, Josh Pais, Ellen Page, Allison Janney
“It might be my favorite (Lynn) Shelton film yet.” – USA TODAY
“A GREAT ENSEMBLE CAST. A gentle, generous new age charmer. Shelton is capable of crafting emotional moments that carry a startling amount of heft.”- Hitfix
(Toronto – September 27, 2013) Life is full of cruel ironies.
In Lynn Shelton’s sympathetic, wryly-humorous film Touchy Feely, a massage therapist named Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) essentially loses her reason for being when she develops an aversion to body contact. Meanwhile, her brother Paul (Josh Pais) is reasonably happy with his less-than-booming dentistry practice – day-to-day sameness being his comfort zone. And he loses that when word develops of his “healing touch” and it turns his life upside down. Abby’s condition has its repercussions in her relationship with her boyfriend Jesse (Scoot McNairy), who is the object of a crush by Abby’s niece Jenny (Ellen Page).
Touchy Feely was received with acclaim at the 2013 Sundance Festival, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In it, the Seattle filmmaker Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister) paints a sympathetic daisy-chain of human needs, desires and fears that take the characters, willingly and unwillingly, to new understandings. The film opens in Toronto on October 11 from Video Services Corp with more cities to come.
Shelton says Touchy Feely occurred to her during an actual massage session. “People come to work every day to a stream of naked bodies on the table. And I wondered what would happen if they reached the point where they couldn’t touch one more body?“It’s a universal quandary. So much of our sense of self and self-worth is tied to our occupations. What if we could no longer do what we do?”This existential point is made comically and effectively when Paul’s Reiki therapist (Allison Janney) begins her futile attempts to get the distraught Paul to relax and discovers that all his soothing mental images involve being at the office.
Touchy Feely is about the experience of living in one’s own skin, both literally and figuratively. The film, written and directed by Shelton, and co-starring Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, and newcomer Tomo Nakayama (of the indie rock band Grand Hallway), was filmed on location in Shelton’s hometown and urban muse of Seattle.
Actress-turned-director Shelton has made a name for herself, both for her Seattle-based realist comedy-dramas and her work directing for television (Mad Men, New Girl, Ben & Kate). She recently completed filming on the drama Laggies, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Moretz and Jeff Garlin.
About Video Services Corp.
Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. is a leading independent DVD distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. With a vast catalogue strong in television, sports and comedy, some of VSC’s releases include Corner Gas, Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters and Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…. Recent theatrical releases include Union Square, with Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III from writer/director Roman Coppola and The Matchmaker from Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher. VSC also owns the e-commerce websites sportonvideo.com, laffstock.com and jewishflicks.com.