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Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama, Musical | July 2010 (USA)
Trailer
1:16 | Trailer
After connecting with the shy Madeline, a jazz trumpeter embarks on a quest for a more gregarious paramour, but through a series of twists and turns punctuated by an original score, the two lovers seem destined to be together.

Director:

Damien Chazelle

Writer:

Damien Chazelle

Director's Trademarks: The Films of Damien Chazelle

First Man director Damien Chazelle's cinematic world is populated by characters driven by singular ambition and framed with technical and stylistic flourishes.

Watch our guide to Damien's films

2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jason Palmer Jason Palmer ... Guy
Desiree Garcia ... Madeline
Sandha Khin Sandha Khin ... Elena
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karen Adelman Karen Adelman ... Karen
Suzanne Bouffard Suzanne Bouffard ... Dancer at Summer Shack
Kelly Burk Kelly Burk ... Dancer at Summer Shack
Anna Chazelle ... Laura
Bernard Chazelle Bernard Chazelle ... Paul
Gonzalo Digenio Gonzalo Digenio ... John
Frank Garvin Frank Garvin ... Frank
Eli Gerstenlauer Eli Gerstenlauer ... Eli
Carolyn Glicklich Carolyn Glicklich ... Dancer at Summer Shack
Greg Greg ... Greg Duncan
Keith Gross-Hill Keith Gross-Hill ... Keith
Kevin Harris Kevin Harris ... Kevin
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Storyline

After connecting with the shy Madeline, a jazz trumpeter embarks on a quest for a more gregarious paramour, but through a series of twists and turns punctuated by an original score, the two lovers seem destined to be together.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guy y Madeline en un banco del parque See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,233, 7 November 2010

Gross USA:

$35,556

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly after completing the film, a friend suggested to writer/director Damien Chazelle to watch Barry Jenkins's film Medicine for Melancholy (2008) given it was another black and white contemporary film gaining momentum among the indie circuit. Ironically, a friend of Barry Jenkins' told him to watch Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) shortly after completing his film. Both directors were up for several Academy Awards in 2017 for their films La La Land (2016) and Moonlight (2016) respectively and only discovered this after speaking to one another during The Hollywood Report's Oscar's Roundtable. See more »

Goofs

When Guy is crossing a bridge toward the end, traffic on the highway below seems to be driving on the left, as if the film were a mirror image. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.16 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Cincinnati
Music by Justin Hurwitz
Lyrics by Damien Chazelle
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chazelle's debut brings together indie filmmaking and movie musical elements
20 October 2018 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Damien Chazelle's debut feels somewhere between a Jim Jarmusch indie and an Astaire-Roger musical. Here's a filmmaker with a deep love of the movie musical trying to make it work on a shoestring budget. The musical genre begs for rich production, so Chazelle tries to circumvent it with a nontraditional script; the central relationship is told in undefined fragments and almost exclusively in the less-sexy aftermath of their love. The musical elements are instead used as flourishes - sometimes daydreams, sometimes as breaks from the story. It's a mess, but one with its charms.

Chazelle's directorial strength is in detail shots and closeups that evoke a tenderness and the vulnerability of the characters. The film excels in these little character moments far more than it does in telling a complete story. Despite Chazelle's decision not to build the characters from the ground up, every so often he strikes a deeply familiar chord with just a few well-executed shots that it becomes possible to connect to Guy, Madeline and Elena's emotions.

The centerpiece of the film though is Justin Hurwitz's score, which feels timeless yet not overly cliche and predictable. The quality of the music, including what was presumably Jason Palmer's (Guy) own trumpet playing, puts the score in a class that the movie's visual quality can't keep up with to the point that you might assume Chazelle just purchased or borrowed professional music.

It's always nice to see how a now-esteemed director pulled together a project with minimal resources. Chazelle wanted to tell a love story that married jazz and musicals and he finds a way to do it, even if the finished project is rough around the edges and a little defiant of mainstream tastes.


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