Year By The Sea, written, directed and composed by Alexander Janko, starring Karen Allen is an emotional, true story about a middle-aged woman who became a prisoner to her daily routine life. One day she finds the courage to step out of her comfort zone, take control of her life and start her quest to rediscover herself.
Year By The Sea sets the pace with a crowd-pleasing journey of self-discovery and friendship featuring three women of the baby-boomer generation.
Year By The Sea chronicles empty-nester Joan Anderson’s (Karen Allen) decision not to follow her relocated husband to Kansas. Instead, she retreats to Cape Cod to rediscover herself and redefine her life. Plagued with guilt, she questions her decision until stumbling upon a spirited mentor, Joan Erikson (Celia Imrie) — author and wife of famed psychologist Erik Erikson, who coined the term “identity crisis.” With a support group that includes her literary agent (S. Epatha Merkerson) and a host of locals, Joan learns to embrace the ebb and flow of life – ultimately discovering the balance between self and sacrifice, obligation and desire.
It was Joan Anderson’s honesty and courage to embrace change that attracted filmmaker, Alexander Janko (composer, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) to her work nearly nine years ago—and a labor of love that propelled his journey to bring it to the big screen as writer, director, and composer.
In an interview with California Senior Guide, Karen explains “She (Joan) wakes up at 55 and her children are grown. She looks into her future and has no idea where she wants to go or what she has to offer. … So she makes an impulsive decision to live in a little shack on the New England coast [and] spend whatever time she needs to get to know herself, reflect on life and see if she can find a way forward.” Click on the INTERVIEW to listen.
“I’ve never been in a film where, at the end of it, people come up and throw their arms around me and thank me for making the film. There are some people who have said, ‘Oh my god, I think you just saved our marriage.’ I mean, that’s a pretty big statement!”
“I’ve been in a lot of films that people were enthusiastic about and loved, but never in a film like this before. People in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, who are grappling with some of the issues really feel very included. Films like these happen, but they’re far and few between. “
Allen drew inspiration from Joan herself to act this role. She added, “although there are some differences between her life as a single mother and Joan’s life… emotionally they share the fact of kids growing up and leaving home and creates that transition in life.”
About Karen Allen
In 1976 Allen made her first film appearance in the award-winning small film, The Whidjitmaker (1976). Her next major role was in Katy, 1978’s National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) which became one of the biggest hits of the year. Her amazing and unique roles caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who chose her to be Harrison Ford’s co-star in his big budget blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), which was the hit of the year and regarded by many as the greatest action-adventure film ever made. Other roles included portraying Christa McAuliffe in the film Challenger in 1990. She continued her success in 2008 with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Year By the Sea: Opened Friday, September 22 See your local movie listings for a theater near you.
By Rozanna Arwani, Staff Writer