Miss Stevens is a 2016 American drama film directed by Julia Hart, in her directorial debut, from a screenplay by Hart and Jordan Horowitz. The film stars Lily Rabe, Timothée Chalamet, Lili Reinhart, Anthony Quintal, Oscar Nunez, and Rob Huebel. The plot follows a teacher who chaperones a small group of high school students to a weekend state drama competition.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Julia Hart|
|Music by||Rob Simonsen|
|Distributed by||The Orchard|
The film had its world premiere at SXSW on March 12, 2016. It began a theatrical limited release on September 16, 2016, before being released on video on demand on September 20, 2016, by The Orchard.
Rachel Stevens (Lily Rabe) is a 29-year-old high school English teacher who volunteers to take three of her students to a drama competition in California for the weekend: the organized Margot (Lili Reinhart), laid-back Sam (Anthony Quintal), and quiet Billy (Timothée Chalamet). On Friday, she meets with the principal (Oscar Nunez) to discuss how the weekend, mentioning Billy's required medication for his behavioral disorder. Once arriving at the hotel, the group checks in and, during a mixer, Rachel meets another teacher named Walter (Rob Huebel). They talk about their urge to have sex despite his wife and proceed to have sex in his hotel room.
The next day, Rachel goes to a car mechanic to repair a flat tire from the previous day with Billy insisting on joining her while the other students rehearse their monologues, and the two bond over their lack of friends. During the first round of competition, Margot forgets her monologue from A Streetcar Named Desire with Rachel consoling her. During dinner, Billy calls Rachel by her first name, upsetting her and surprising the other two students. She visits Walter but he is uninterested and sadly leaves. Billy then visits her room and apologizes for dinner; she tearfully confides her favorite memory about her deceased mother. Scared she may be developing feelings for him, she tells Billy to leave, confusing him. After being interrupted by Margot and Sam, Billy frustratedly storms out.
The next morning, Billy passionately recites his monologue from Death of a Salesman, gaining a positive response from the audience. He then tells Rachel that he is off his medication and confesses his feelings for her. Upset, she quickly calls the principal, prompting him to storm out and briefly disappear before Rachel finds him and coaxes him back to her car. He ultimately receives second place in the competition.
Back at the school, having driven all three kids back, Rachel suggests that Billy talk to his parents about his medication or to see a therapist. Billy suggests that Rachel needs someone to take care of her as well.
In February 2013, it was announced that Ellen Page would direct the film, which would have been her first as helmer, from a screenplay by Julia Hart, with Anna Faris attached to star as a teacher. In 2015, Julia Hart, who wrote the screenplay, replaced Page as director, in her directional debut.
The film was produced by Gilbert Films and Anonymous Content, with Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz producing in representation of Gilbert Films and Doug Wald producing in representation of Anonymous Content. Beachside's Michael B. Clarke and Alex Turtletaub co-produced. Nicole Romano and Trevor Adley were executive producers, representing Anonymous Content.
In May 2015, Anthony Quintal announced via his YouTube channel that he had been cast in the film. In an interview, Quintal later said that Julia Hart had approached him and said "I just know that you are perfect for this role. I have been looking for someone to play this role for so long. I came across you and your videos recently and thought, 'This is it. He is the one.'" In June 2015, it was announced that Lily Rabe, Timothée Chalamet, Lili Reinhart, and Rob Huebel had all been cast as well, with Rabe replacing Faris as the lead.
The film had its world premiere at SXSW on March 12, 2016. Shortly after, The Orchard acquired distribution rights to the film. The film began a limited release in theatres on September 16, 2016, before being streamed through video on demand on September 20, 2016.
Miss Stevens received positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 91% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 65 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Stephen Holden of The New York Times classified the film as an "NYT Critic's Pick," describing it as a "modest, warmhearted directorial debut..." He wrote that Rabe gave a "beautifully balanced performance."
|2016||SXSW Film Festival||Special Jury Award for Best Actress - Narrative Feature||Won|
|SXSW Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature||Nominated|
|SXSW Gamechanger Award||Nominated|
- "Miss Stevens". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
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- Ehrlich, David (September 15, 2016). "'Miss Stevens' Review: This Sweet Indie Dramedy Teaches The Genre A Valuable Lesson". Indiewire.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (February 7, 2013). "Ellen Page Making Directing Debut On 'Miss Stevens'; Anna Faris To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Hipes, Patrick (June 24, 2015). "Lily Rabe To Star In Indie 'Miss Stevens'; Mark O'Brien Joins 'Story Of Your Life'; 'Frank The Bastard' Gets July Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- ""Miss Stevens" - 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival". Getty Images. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
- Quintal, Anthony (May 29, 2015). "I'M GOING TO BE IN A MOVIE". YouTube.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Stecklow, Sam (September 28, 2015). "YASSS TEEN: EXPLORING YOUTUBE WITH LOHANTHONY". PaperMag.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "Miss Stevens". SXSW.com. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Busch, Anita (May 23, 2016). "'Miss Stevens' Acquired By The Orchard For Fall Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Mintchell, Frederick (August 10, 2016). "Blockbuster fatigue? Check out some of these upcoming indie films". World Tech Today. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Lily Rabe In This Trailer For MISS STEVENS". Rama Screen. August 24, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Miss Stevens (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Miss Stevens". Metacritic. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Stephen Holden, "Review: In ‘Miss Stevens,’ a Chaperone Greets Temptation", New York Times, 15 September 2016
- "2016 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL JURY AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED". SXSW.com. March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016.