Movie Review: Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson take an affecting nostalgia trip in Blue Jay

Set in an unspecified small town—sleepy establishing shots suggest a location somewhere on the West Coast—the indie film Blue Jay begins in time-honored fashion, with a chance meeting between a man and a woman. In this case, they’re shopping in the same aisle at the supermarket, and a major silent drama ensues before either party even acknowledges the other’s presence. Jim (Mark Duplass) appears to recognize Amanda (Sarah Paulson), but quickly decides to ignore her, though he doesn’t walk away. Amanda then spots Jim and, following a visible struggle about whether or not to say hello, finally does so. Jim greets her warmly, starts to go in for a hug, senses it might be unwanted, manages to retreat before he’s committed himself irrevocably. Duplass and Paulson counteract the deliberately banal dialogue (Duplass also wrote the screenplay) with superbly anxious body language; Jim and Amanda …

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