Recently I had the opportunity to attend an online screening of the independent film, Mighty Fine followed by a live chat with two of the actors in the movie, Chazz Palminteri and Jodelle Ferland. Written and directed by Debbie Goldstein, Mighty Fine is a fictional story yet draws on Debbie’s experiences as a child living with an abusive father.
The movie is set in the 70′s and is centered around the Fine family. Joe Fine can be charming, charismatic and downright mean. When things are going well, Joe is the husband and father that most dream about. But when Joe begins to feel threatened, either financially or emotionally, an ugly side of him comes out. Stella, played by Andie McDowell, is a holocaust survivor with her own emotional issues. She loves her children but feels as though she owes Joe for saving her. Even though she is fully aware of Joe’s rage, she does nothing to stop it and even makes excuses for him. Maddie and Natalie are Joe and Stella’s daughters. Maddie and Joe butt heads quite often in the movie while younger sister Natalie takes on some of her mother’s characteristics and tries to see only the good in her father.
My favorite character in this movie was Maddie, the 16-year daughter of Joe and Stella. She resonated with me because she was strong. She saw her father for who he was – both good and bad and wasn’t afraid to use her voice. She was willing to take matters into her own hands, even if that meant leaving her comfort zone. I wonder if this film had been in present day how Maddie would have reacted to her dad’s outbursts. For that matter, I wonder if the whole family would react differently. I suspect that no matter what the time period, acknowledging and taking action against someone who loves you so deeply one minute but is so hateful the next would be difficult.
I encourage you to see Mighty Fine which will be in select theaters on May 25th. It will definitely make you uncomfortable and will make you wonder why but I also think that each of us can relate in some way to the characters.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating.