Blue Jay

“There’s nothing wrong with my life. I should be happy. But there’s this sadness… and I don’t know where it comes from.”


For many years I have described my favourite genre as the “connection genre”, a subset of which is “reconnection”. Blue Jay is a gentle black-and-white indie drama in which childhood sweethearts run into each other by chance twenty years later and spend some time reconnecting. The performances are critical with just two actors: Mark Duplass (who also wrote the script) and Sarah Paulson (who is exceptional). Blue Jay captures the casual intimacy and understanding between former lovers who knew each other so well, in addition to the ease — and underlying danger — of falling back into those patterns through nostalgia. Although the film feels largely romantic in nature, heartbreak is an ever-present threat. The believable, endearing chemistry between the leads is aided by improvisation around a loosely outlined script, allowing the actors to react naturalistically to one another. My only real criticism is a revelation late in the film which feels unnecessary and somewhat undermines the universality of much of what came before.