Princess Cyd
(Stephen Cone)

Jessie Pinnick in a scene from Stephen Cone's  Princess Cyd  {Photo: WOLFE RELEASING}

Jessie Pinnick in a scene from Stephen Cone's Princess Cyd {Photo: WOLFE RELEASING}

Princess Cyd screens at the AMC River East 21 on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:00PM, Saturday, October 21 at 2:45PM, and Wednesday, October 25 at 3:00PM. Director Stephen Cone and producers Grace Hahn and Madison Ginsberg are scheduled to attend all dates for post-screening Q&As. For additional ticketing information, refer to the Chicago International Film Festival website here

Each Stephen Cone film is a gift. His new film, Princess Cyd, is an absolute delight in what’s a luminous examination of two generations bridging the gap of their differences. It details the arrival of Cyd (Jessie Pinnick) to her Aunt Miranda’s (Rebecca Spice) Ravenswood home. Staying in the same room that once belonged to her deceased mother, Cyd’s arrival is defined for its perpetual disruption. As Miranda offers an accommodating home for Cyd to stay, Cyd finds herself unwittingly challenging all the totems to which Miranda holds dear. It’s an intriguing contrast in manners, though thankfully Cone refrains from making any simplistic statements on adolescent indignation, instead suggesting a more humanistic sense of understanding.

Cyd’s oblivious slights would be intolerable if it weren’t for Jessie Pinnick’s persuasive performance. Her emergence from a self-absorbed teenager (is there any other kind) to a more complete and understanding human is among the chief delights of Princess Cyd. Yet it’s Rebecca Spice’s wise and patient performance that howls most loudly, particularly in a sequence that examines the modes in which people obtain fulfillment. Cone’s reputation as a filmmaker who works exceedingly well with actors remains on full display, yet it’s the subtle nuances in his writing and directing that impressed on me most here; the vivid literary devices used in the film, along with his impressionistic use of Miranda’s home, imbued Princess Cyd with a tactile richness and depth. Days removed from my screening of the film and I’m still cast by its spell.