Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I watched an excellent documentary recently: Adrienne, the story of the late actress, screenwriter, and director Adrienne Shelly, as told by her widower, Andy Ostroy (2021, Rated TV-MA, streams on HBO Max).
Shelley wanted to be an actress from the time she was very young, according to her mother and childhood friends, who describe her early success. As a young woman, she became known for her roles in some indie films, but her greatest success came after her death in 2006.
I love Waitress (2007) and have watched it several times.
Shelley had decided that if she wanted to be a success, she would need to create her own material. She wrote Waitress while she was pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, in 2003.
Shelly then directed the movie and played one of the roles. The movie is funny and sad and sweet. Little Sophie has a cameo at the end.
Perhaps the most poignant parts of the documentary are a teenage Sophie's words about the mother she can't remember.
Before her death, Shelly knew the film had been accepted by the Sundance Film Festival.
Ostroy tells the story of Shelly's death himself. After he found Shelly's body, the police assumed Shelly had committed suicide. At Ostroy's insistence, police carried out an investigation leading to the discovery of her killer.
The only part of the documentary that I didn't care for was Ostroy's meeting with the killer. The film strays into self-indulgence at that point.
Overall, however, Ostroy creates a loving tribute to Adrienne Shelly and preserves her memory for their daughter. Adrienne is as luminous as the woman herself.
Infinities of love,