Film Scouts and Newsweek at Sundance 1999

24-hour Woman

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Nancy Savoca's fourth feature takes on superwomanhood with both warm intimacy and the breathless energy of live television. Avoiding predictable traps of pitting professional moms against bosses or bad daddies, Savoca cleverly confronts supermom Grace Santos with herself and her own creations.

Grace and Eddie Santos are married and the producer/anchor team for a popular talk show, 24-Hour Woman. When Grace gets pregnant, the event is announced on the air before she can deal with the prospect of motherhood. The candid baby episode boosts ratings, and her pregnancy is exploited as the focus of the show. When baby finally arrives, she is a wrap on the series, not a new bundle of love. But when Eddie shirks his share of baby care, Grace summons her professional skills in hilarious attempts to be the perfect mother and TV producer.

Savoca's knack for capturing nuances of women's everyday life is brilliantly displayed as talk-show television becomes a metaphor for the hectic life of parent and professional and an indicted source of the barriers between motherhood and masculinity which make career moms neurotic messes. Grace, played by a dynamic Rosie Perez, and a team of live-wire producers (perfectly portrayed by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Reno, and Patti Lupone) slave and sacrifice to create a myth which threatens their marriages, careers, and sanity.

- Shari Frilot

Directed by: Nancy Savoca
Written by: Nancy Savoca
Starring: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Karen Duffy, Wally Dunn, Patti LuPone, Rosie Perez, Diego Serrano, Aida Turturro
Produced by: Peter Newman, Richard Guay

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