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REELING: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival

She’s the Best Thing in It

Directed by Ron Nyswaner

USA / 2015 / 80 mins / English


When Tony Award winner, and theater veteran, Mary Louise Wilson (GREY GARDENS), travels to her hometown of New Orleans to teach acting to a group of reality-TV addicted theater majors, acclaimed screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (FREEHELD, PHILADELPHIA, THE PAINTED VEIL) follows her with a camera crew, recording this clash of generations and cultures. As she challenges her students, Wilson recalls the city of her youth and her colorful career – including a halcyon period throughout the 1950s and 60s living with her brother in Manhattan, a gay bon vivant whose Auntie Mame-like existence provided her enduring life lessons. The film features interviews with Frances McDormand, Melissa Leo, Estelle Parsons, Tyne Daley, Valerie Harper, and Charlotte Rae, discussing their struggles on the way to becoming actors and the special challenges facing women in the field. Produced by award-winning filmmakers Neda Armian (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS) and Jeffrey Schwarz (VITO, I AM DIVINE), SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT is an entertaining, instructive, and moving examination of the actor’s craft and some brave women who have devoted their lives to it. This film is co-presented by About Face Theatre. Filmmaker Ron Nyswaner and star Mary Louise Wilson are expected tol be in attendance for Q&A following the screening