A Real Pain | Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial outing set for cinemas

Jesse Eisenberg
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A Real Pain – written and directed by Jesse Eisenberg – proved to be one of the biggest hits of the Sundance Film Festival and has now been slated for release.

Coming out of the Sundance Film Festival this year, perhaps the most buzz was focused on Jesse Eisenberg's directorial folllow-up to 2022’s When You Finish Saving The World.

His second directorial outing is called A Real Pain and follows cousins who travel to their grandmother’s native Poland to partake in a Holocaust tour. Succession's Kieran Culkin stars alongside Eisenberg in the film which proved to be the first major acquisition of the festival when Searchlight stepped in to acquire the movie for $10m.

While it certainly doesn’t grab as many headlines as the woes faced by other Disney-owned subsidiaries, Searchlight has proved to be one of the House of Mouse’s successes of the past few years, exhibiting excellent taste in acquiring and distributing films that have demonstrated continuing appetite for original and unique cinema.

As well as releasing acclaimed titles such as Poor Things, All Of Us Strangers and Rye Lane in the last year, Searchlight also has exciting projects such as Yorgios Lanthimos’ Kinds Of Kindness, Suncoast and Nightbitch on the way. However, A Real Pain may yet prove to be the studio’s star attraction for 2024 and as such, Searchlight has dated the film for an 18th October release, meaning it will arrive right in the midst of the films vying for awards contention.

The supporting cast for the film looks particularly intriguing too.

Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing fame features whilst fans of The White Lotus will no doubt be pleased to see Will Sharpe’s name in the ensemble too. Kurt Egyiawan (Beasts Of No Nation), Liza Sadovy (A Small Light) and Daniel Oreskes (Only Murders In The Building) round out an intriguing list of names.

Eisenberg spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the film when it screened at Sundance, stating: “I’ve always been interested in Poland. My family comes from Poland. I was very close with my dad’s aunt who was born in 1912 and was in Poland until she was nine. She always told me stories about how she had this wonderful relationship with the Polish people. It was a little counter to things I had heard growing up about Polish-Jewish relations.”

By all accounts, Eisenberg has managed to honour his connection to the Poland and the country’s Holocaust legacy in some style. Although it’s still a way off from release, we now have a date to look forward to and given the buzz it has garnered thus far, it seems likely that we’ll be talking abut this film for some time to come.


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