Mrs. Booker on 8th Avenue follows Florence Booker (Daniella Alma) who feels increasingly isolated in her marriage in New York. A shared cigarette with an alluring line cook sparks an affair that causes the different layers of Florence’s life to unravel.
Filmed over ten days on the streets of Manhattan, Mrs. Booker on 8th Ave wants to play like a John Cassevettes film- the ones that starred his wife, Gena Rowlands. When Cassavettes directed his Rowlands films he was in his 40’s, an actor and director with years under his belt, and a married man for at least twenty years before he started directing his wife. They knew each other inside and out and how to translate that intimacy to the screen.
Mrs Booker on 8th Ave is the debut film for Alexander Canepa, a young man who has a few production assistant credits, a short film (Meringue) to his name and recently opened a production company for which Mrs Booker is its initial release. That inexperience shows when he tries to go deep into the ennui of his character and ends up with a floating unfocused emotional mess of a woman that is never given enough backstory to define her true inner being. There are a lot of nicely acted scenes that depict the emotional male ego but never really pins down Mrs. Booker’s complicated emotional core. But shallow men are easy to depict, complicated women are a bit harder. Like Cassavette’s you need to be married to them for at least twenty years to fully understand and do them Justice. :)
Mrs. Booker on 8th Ave gets a 3.0 out of 5 or a B.
Mrs. Booker on 8th Ave is part of the 10th annual Chattanooga Film Festival playing online and IRL through June 29th.