All of the introductory pictures on the Sundance page featured this Jesse Eisenberg film, which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance (some choice lines from the script to follow.)
Jesse Eisenberg plays David Kaplan and Kieran Culkin is his cousin, Benjy. Following the death of their Grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, the two travel to Poland with money she left them for the trip, and ultimately end up joining a tour of concentration camps. Jennifer Grey portrays Marcia, a divorced woman who is on the tour with the cousins.
Benjy is in crisis. We learn this as the trip progresses. As cousin David (Jesse Eisenberg) says of Benjy, “You’re like an all-encompassing individual.” He also says of Benjy, “I love him and I hate him and I want to kill him and I want to BE him.” Benjy is well-played by Kieran Culkin who steals most of the scenes. The reasons for his depression are not totally explained to us. His fascination with airports, while interesting, is another oddity.
Here are some of the good lines from the honored script:
“There but for the grace of no God go I.”
“You have the most effed-up sense of proprieties.”
“You light up a room and then you shit on everything inside of it.”
Jesse Eisenberg’s first directorial effort was 2022’s “When You Finish Saving the World.” Both films were produced by Emma Stone’s production company, Fruit Tree.
This outing was much more professional. The ending left something to be desired, but it was a very enjoyable film.