I Smile Back receives rave Reviews

January 29, 2015

Adam Salky’s ('08) second feature, I Smile Back, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival last week, is receiving rave reviews.

Based on Writing Program alumna Amy Koppelman’s ('01) 2008 novel of the same name, I Smile Back tells the story of Lany, an intelligent suburban wife and devoted mother of two children who struggles with depression, reckless behavior and addiction. Only very real danger will force her to face the painful root of her destructiveness and its crumbling effect on those she loves.

Renowned stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman’s performance as Lany (in her first dramatic lead role) has received particular praise. "An indelible performance" in a “career-defining, intensely layered and heartbreaking role” is how Kim Yutani, a senior Sundance programmer, summed it up. Positively reviewing the film, The New York Times said, "the self-serious audience at Sundance will decide whether Ms. Silverman, a longtime skewerer of the self-serious, can go out on a new limb without falling off. But in one important way she has already succeeded. She’s delivered in I Smile Back perhaps the perfect example of what Sundance is about: challenging boundaries, stretching in unfamiliar directions and forcing viewers to be a bit more open-minded."

This is not Adam’s first stint appearance at Sundance. His feature film directorial debut Dare was a Grand Jury Prize Nominee of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition Category. Dare was acquired by Image Entertainment, released theatrically that year, and distributed in dozens of international markets.