The character-driven drama YOU CAN COUNT ON ME served as an auspicious high water mark for two then-rising stars in Hollywood: writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, who had one movie screenplay to his credit at the time, and Dallas Star Award honoree Laura Linney, who was fresh off the high of her dramatic turn in THE TRUMAN SHOW after a string of tense thrillers such as ABSOLUTE POWER and PRIMAL FEAR.
Linney plays Sammy, a single mother in a town in the Catskills who must deal with a string of turning points, both in her life and the lives of those close to her. She takes in her broke vagabond brother, Terry (Mark Ruffalo), who bonds with her son, Rudy (Rory Culkin), who is inventing heroic fantasies about the father he’s never met but yearns to find—all while rejecting a marriage proposal from a boyfriend, then sleeping with her married boss, Brian (Matthew Broderick). The yin and yang of each character’s strengths and faults climax with cathartic resoluteness in some and open-ended acceptance in others, but everyone reaches the state needed to progress as human beings—for themselves, and for each other.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME earned two Academy Award nominations: Best Original Screenplay for Lonergan and Best Actress for Linney, who has earned two more Oscar performance nods since—Best Supporting Actress for 2004’s KINSEY, and Best Actress for 2007’s THE SAVAGES.
Laura Linney is scheduled to attend Saturday's screening of YOU CAN COUNT ON ME.