A photo of Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis in Sean Mewshaw’s Tumbledown (via Tribeca Film Festival)
For those of us (obsessively, sadly) keeping up with this year’s original song race, Sean Mewshaw’s upcoming indie comedy Tumbledown may offer a surprisingly strong contender.
The film centers on Hannah, played by Rebecca Hall, as she grieves the loss of her husband, Hunter, a legendary songwriter. Things begin to turn around when she teams up with New York academic Andrew, played by Jason Sudeikies, to write a biography of Hunter. Blythe Danner (who leads possible contender I’ll See You in My Dreams), Dianna Agron, Joe Manganiello, Griffin Dunne, and Richard Masur appear in supporting roles.
Mewshaw and Desi Van Til, screenwriter of Tumbledown, and also his wife, realized that music would be an important part of the film. They showed singer-songwriter Damien Jurado early cuts of Tumbledown, which allowed him to connect with and write music for the finalized film.
Out of the process came “On the Land Blues.” Mewshaw said of the music in the film.
The songs for Hannah mean so much — it’s all she has left of her husband, that’s what we were interested in exploring. In terms of the music, in another film perhaps with the loss of a loved one the person would have pictures, videos something like that. We thought it was so evocative that this woman would have an album. The haunting that Hunter does is immediate; she can turn it on whenever she wants and have him sing just to her.
At the moment, Tumbledown isn’t set for U.S. distribution, so it’s “in limbo” when it comes to the Oscar race. Still, that could change after it premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, Apr. 18.
You can check out more about Jurado’s contribution to Tumbledown – including audio of the song itself – over at Billboard.