Jennifer Jason Leigh has a delicious history of playing characters right on — or beyond — the edge, from Rush to Single White Female to Dolores Claiborne. In The Moment, a psychological drama that has its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, she plays a Lee, a war photographer trying to balance her demanding career with her role as a mother, who doubts her own sanity after her estranged ex-boyfriend (Martin Henderson) goes missing. “Her initial reaction is to think that she killed him because of her guilt about him and about other things as well,” says co-writer and director Jane Weinstock.
As a result, Lee checks herself into a mental hospital where she encounters a fellow patient who possesses a remarkable likeness to the man she thinks she killed. “The film jumps around in time,” says Weinstock, who was inspired by the more unsettling works of Hitchcock and Cassavetes. “I didn’t want to tell a linear story. I wanted to tell it more the way stories exist in our memory — in pieces — rather than A to B to C. So it’s almost structured like the unconscious.”
Watch an exclusive scene from the movie below, as Lee stumbles upon the possible crime-scene that will test her grip on reality. “My head is exploding and I’m coming in,” she says into her ex’s answering machine, revealing maybe more than she herself knows.
The Moment also stars Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace), Meat Loaf, and Navid Negahban (Homeland).