Saint Frances director Alex Thompson and writer/star Kelly O’Sullivan on the film they didn’t want to make

A double winner at last year’s SXSW – it scooped the Audience Award and Special Jury Award – Alex Thompson’s Saint Frances went on to be something of a festival favourite, a dream start for his debut feature.  It eventually arrived in the UK last month at the online version of EIFF and, opening in cinemas this Friday, 24th, is one of the first titles on the big screen post-lockdown.

Written by and starring Thompson’s partner, Kelly O’Sullivan, it’s the story of a thirtysomething who knows what she doesn’t want – and that’s children.  Ironically, the best job option that comes her way is being the nanny to a perceptive six year old girl, an experience that teaches her a few life lessons.  Not that it’s one of those films where the cute kid is smarter than the adult.  As O’Sullivan and Thompson tell The People’s Movies’ Freda Cooper in the interview below, that was exactly the type of film they didn’t want to make.

Their personal involvement in the film extended beyond directing, writing and acting, with their own apartment used as the set for the nanny, Bridget (also played by O’Sullivan).  And when they cast Max Lipchitz as her on-off boyfriend, his flatmate also landed a role in the film, and their apartment doubled as their home in the film.

Having worked on their first film together, Thomson and O’Sullivan are looking forward to more joint projects.  For now, however, UK audiences can sit back and enjoy Saint Frances from Friday.


Saint Frances is released in cinemas on 24 July 2020.
Read our review of the film here.

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