The still mysterious Ode to Joy – that is being shown in many indie festivals around the US – ahead of its opening in RiverRun Festival is giving us further information about the characters and the film itself.
RiverRun kicks off with this charming romantic comedy-drama. Martin Freeman (“Sherlock,” the “Hobbit” movies) stars as Charlie, a nebbishy librarian. His life is unrelentingly dull because he has to live that way — he has a condition that causes him to pass out when he experiences too much happiness. As odd as that sounds, it’s a real condition known as cataplexy, a form of narcolepsy triggered by strong emotions, and was the subject of a segment on the radio show “This American Life.” That interview, titled “I’ve Fallen in Love and I Can’t Get Up,” aired in June 2010. Charlie’s coworkers and his family — particularly his endearing if lunk-headed kid brother, played Jake Lacy, an alumnus of the UNC School of the Arts — try to help him get through his days pleasantly but without too much joy. But one day a dysfunctional, funny and gorgeous woman named Francesca (Morena Baccarin of “Firefly” and “Homeland”) catches his eye. Comedic mishaps follow as the characters get to know each other and complications arise. The film manages, mostly, to have fun with the implications of his condition without making fun of his condition, resulting in a genial, bittersweet, but often laugh-out-loud tale.
Ode to Joy is set to premiere in Sedona Film Festival next February 26 on the main stage and again on March 3.
Unfortunately, we still don’t have a poster but some seconds of the film thanks to the steadycam operator publication on their vimeo account. Check out the link for some more.
More of the plot that we’ve already covered can be read on the festival film page, transcribed below. No actor nor cast members were announced to be present during the premiere nor interviews:
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) has fallen in love and can’t get up. A man’s fervent attempts at subverting happiness once it begins to cause him bouts of narcolepsy are put to the ultimate test when he falls in love.
How does a man who is — literally — paralyzed by happiness find love? Thanks to a condition called cataplexy — a rare disorder that causes him to lose control of his muscles whenever he is overcome by strong emotion, particularly joy — Brooklyn librarian Charlie (Martin Freeman) has learned to carefully edit all delight-triggering people, places, and events out of his life. Family weddings, cute babies, adorable puppies, and, yes, romance are all fraught with peril in Charlie’s carefully managed world. But when the beautiful, spontaneous Francesca (Morena Baccarin) falls for him, the risk-averse Charlie finds himself at a crossroads: suppress his feelings of attraction, or take a chance and let love in?
Based on a true story originally featured on This American Life, “Ode to Joy” is a hilarious and touching look at what happens when we stop being afraid and let ourselves truly live.
The still mysterious film that Martin filmed in NY during 2017 “Ode to Joy” was inspired by a story written by Portland writer Chris Higgins for the radio program and podcast “This American Life”.
The story is called “I’ve fallen in love and I can’t get up” and was published during June, 2010.
The summary is pretty much what we told you about in a previous post:
Four years ago, Matt Frerking started having attacks where he simply couldn’t move his body. That’s strange in itself, but what’s even stranger is the apparent cause of the problem, which is known as cataplexy.
You can listen to the story read by the author here.
John Jones who was in charge of makeup in Ode to Joy posted a new photo from the filming. This one shows Martin and the caption reads:
“The talented Martin Freeman performing his own stunts for the Ole to Joy filming in Manhattan this past summer”.
Click on the photo to view it in full size:
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