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Jeff Daniels

Ben Stiller Explores His Dark Side in ‘Greenberg’

It’s not easy to love Roger Greenberg, the latest misanthrope Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) has created as the star of his new comedy. Greenberg, played by a pitch-perfect Ben Stiller, is insufferable: narcissistic, cruel and calculating, and totally oblivious to his shortcomings. That he has friends, much less a doting and very forgiving lover (Greta Gerwig), is nothing short of a miracle.

God Is Not in The Answer Man's Details

There’s no shortage of pain in The Answer Man, the opening-night selection at last April’s Sonoma Film Festival. Nearly everyone in it seems paralyzed by hopelessness, fear of rejection and emotional numbness. They’re looking for a savior, and in one famously reclusive author – think J.D. Salinger, if he’d written a bestselling spiritual guide instead of Catcher in the Rye – they think they’ve found him.

The Answer Man Opens 12th Sonoma Film Festival

The Sonoma International Film Festival kicks off tonight with the Northern California premiere of The Answer Man, a shrewdly amusing drama starring Jeff Daniels (The Lookout, Traitor) as the author of a spiritual self-help book.

The film, which earned critical raves and a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance, marks the feature debut of writer-director John Hindman, who was able to lure Daniels to the project on the strength of his script alone. (At the time, Hindman had no movie deal, much less a budget for big-name talent.) Daniels, whose reclusive writer believes none of his own bestselling psychobabble, heads a talent-rich cast featuring Lauren Graham, Kat Dennings and Juno’s Olivia Thirlby.

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