(2014) Repeating a line from her part as Theresa D'Agostino in The Wire, "I tend to break things," 40-year-old actress Brandy Burre in director Robert Greene's documentary of herself is ready to resume an acting career after moving to Beacon, NY, where she hibernated, playing house as the mother of two children, Henry and Stella. When Henry complains that his brain hurts, Brandy tells him: "Eat cereal. The cereal will heal your brain."
Watching the film for me was like viewing a stranger's home movies without context, accompanied by Brandy's monologues about acting (never getting to be the nice girl), the heartbreak of auditioning (when she felt perfect for a part and knew the director but still didn't get the role), and her faltering relationship with her unmarried partner and the father of her children, Tim Reinke.
She and Tim own the Birdsall House, a craft-beer gastropub, where he works long hours. She says she fell out of love when her suggestion of putting in a diaper changer in the restroom wasn't taken seriously. She shops for groceries, does house chores, shovels snow, attends a yoga class.
For Stella's third birthday, Tim takes both children to his parents, relieving Brandy of responsibilities for a while; Brandy watches (eyes watering) the celebration on her smartphone. She takes the kids to see her folks in Ohio for Thanksgiving.
Going into Greenwich Village for an evening, feeling the urge of romance on a bridge, singing in a nightclub, Brandy speaks of her need for spontaneity again, being thrown over a chair in a passionate act of lovemaking. Over the phone she shares how Tim had found out that she'd been with someone else, "so now we have to pick up the pieces." Though Brandy admits feeling bad about it, she doesn't regard it as wrong.
She says she misses being friends with Tim, but with him communication had become difficult. Of their relationship she says there were "so many happy aspects," but "emotional things not being fulfilled."
Tim helps setting up the Christmas tree. Brandy shows off to friends who arrive for the holiday the bathtub she purchased on craigslist in which she says she plans to read scripts and where "my children can drown themselves in." The breakup: Tim takes down the outdoor decorations before moving into an apartment.
Her mother comes out for a comforting visit; Tim removes only one box of his belongings. Desperate for an acting job - going from being a selfless mom to a selfish actress again - Brandy says she needs the work to get her freedom back. A role requires that she "must be comfortable with partial nudity." On camera she takes a shower.
Nevertheless, getting a chance for a recurring role in an ABC production, Brandy admits to being scared, having a "love/hate relationship with putting myself out there." Wearing a bandaged on her forehead above a bruised eye, Brandy allows how she's not graceful, clumsy in fact in falling out of a car onto her face, smacked down - a message of which she's taking note.
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