Female Filmmakers in Focus: Carolina Cavalli on Amanda | Interviews

Another aspect I really thought was emotionally resonant was how Amanda is continually asking if Judy is ashamed of her or if Viola is ashamed of her daughter. It’s that idea that failure to launch can cause shame in these people that are supposed to love you no matter what.

I think it’s a bit strange structurally in our society, the fact that you can fail at life. This idea that there are people who are winners and others who are failing or losers. It’s very difficult first of all to understand that, but once you recognize these elements, you’re just like, I don’t know, you’re fragile. You’re worried not necessarily to fail, but to be seen failing. And I don’t think it’s something natural. I think a game over in life is when you die. But there is this concept that dictates a lot of the ambitions and fears in our daily life. And actually, we would live much better if we were free from that.

I agree. Like when she is panicking because her non-boyfriend is gonna think she’s a loser. That’s a really painful scene, but I felt that deeply. That also ties to that desire for immediate intimacy with him. I’ve definitely been in a few situations-ships where I thought I was dating somebody, and watching this, I was like, “Oh no, this is my biography.” Amanda reminds me a lot of me. I just rewatched the film with my boyfriend, and he was like, “I see why you liked this movie.”

Is he really your boyfriend? [laughs]

[Laughs] Yeah, he’s really my boyfriend. Also, on this rewatch, I really noticed the way you costumed Amanda and Rebecca. Amanda has that beautiful crocheted sweater that she wears all the time, and Rebecca is always in some form of sportswear like she’s still the person she was when she won all those trophies.

It was important from the beginning not to make many stylistic choices, but rather start from the plot and from the characters especially. And so I thought Amanda would have been someone who doesn’t change her clothes much, because she doesn’t have much space and she doesn’t really enjoy change, and also it’s kind of like an armor for her. I always thought that whenever you don’t change your clothing often, it’s kind of like you’re the same as the day before. If you’re looking for yourself, looking similar every day, from the external point of view, may help you with understanding your continuum of identity. And so I thought about these two things, and also the fact that I don’t think she buys much. She steals from her little niece, for example, the crochet thing, or from her sister or grandma. She steals from the house. All the things she has she found in different ways, so that’s why it’s a bit of a mix of mix and match.