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Trespassing for Laughs in ‘The Land of Steady Habits’

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

anatomy of a scene

The director Nicole Holofcener discusses a scene in which the lead character (Ben Mendelsohn) breaks into his former home.

Mekado Murphy
Nicole Holofcener narrates a sequence from her film featuring Ben Mendelsohn.Published OnCreditCreditImage by Netflix

In “Anatomy of a Scene,” we ask directors to reveal the secrets that go into making key scenes in their movies. See new episodes in the series each Friday. You can also watch our collection of more than 150 videos on YouTube and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Ben Mendelsohn stars in “The Land of Steady Habits” as Anders Hill, a divorced man grappling with the new life he has set up for himself. Nicole Holofcener directs the film (in theaters and streaming on Netflix Sept. 14), and adapted Ted Thompson’s novel for the screen.

In this scene, Anders has been drinking and gives his taxi driver the incorrect address, that of his former home. But he still has the key and decides to head in, to the dismay of his son (Thomas Mann), his ex-wife (Edie Falco) and her new boyfriend (Bill Camp).

In this video, Ms. Holofcener (interviewed at the Toronto International Film Festival) discusses her goals for the scene (the chance to show Anders’s enjoyment at being a jerk to his ex) and one of the mishaps in filming it (melting Popsicle props).

Read the Times Critics’ Pick review.

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