Gravitas Ventures Brings Black Comedy “Raising Buchanan” to VOD/Digital & Blu-Ray/DVD Audiences Everywhere May 5th
“Raising Buchanan” Introduces Audiences to America’s Least Known And Worst President … In The Delicious Dark Comedy Starring Amanda Melby, René Auberjonois and M. Emmet Walsh
That's when the debut feature of comedy shorts creator Bruce Dellis flies, as Auberjonois and Melby find sympathy for their imperfect characters, and squeeze every drop of comedy and pathos out of a whip-smart, high-speed script filled with digressions and callbacks.
There's a studied silliness that can only be described as Coenesque.
It's all absurd, which adds to the charm.
"as portrayed by the late, beloved character actor René Auberjonois, Buchanan becomes a guy that you can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for and, to some degree, maybe even respect."
“The pair are perfectly suited to one another. It’s purposely left unclear whether Buchanan is a ghost that only Ruth can see or simply a figment of her imagination, but either way, he’s the clear highlight of the movie.”
"The performance is warm and committed and ultimately very charming, and the actor (who passed away in late 2019) seems to really relish both the stately monologues and the comedic back-and-forth that Buchanan’s apparition is afforded."
"Speaking of brilliant character actors from generations past, the great M. Emmet Walsh appears here, as well, playing Ruth’s terminally ill father. The wizened Blood Simple co-star supplies some of the film’s most poignant moments, and while he and Auberjonois don’t appear on screen together, their combined efforts and their comforting, old-school screen presence are what really put Raising Buchanan over the top."
"Thanks to the great sympathy of Auberjonois’ performance and the film’s overall redemptive, optimistic spirit, it’s pretty easy to believe he may have been judged a little more harshly than was necessary."
"The film’s good-natured tone is unexpected and refreshing…”
“The best parts of the film by far are the scenes in which, in her head, Ruth and the ghost of Buchanan discuss things like his place in history, the morality of slavery or her problems. Melby is good, … But Auberjonois is terrific, and has a nice chemistry with her. He pulls off the neat trick of remaining sympathetic, someone to root for, while never really improving his status as such an awful leader. It’s an impressive performance…”
"But there’s wistful wit in the dialogue, and the charming Melby makes the most of it; you feel for Ruth’s economic plight, and you root for her. She has a particular rapport with the cast’s two great veterans; Walsh as the gloomily dithering father and Auberjonois as the waspish yet subtly commiserative Buchanan. Simply as a showcase for two of the best character actors of the last fifty years, Raising Buchanan deserves praise."
"Dellis’s screenplay is full of witticism, cynicism, and wisdom..."
"The story works Meg and Holly’s comedy in with Ruth’s allowing Melby to shine; even in her most depressive state, she is a hoot."
"Auberjonois, who has a long history of comedic roles and is known for his dry humor was the perfect actor to play Buchanan; he has an aristocratic way about himself that plays beautifully off Ruth, who is just a snide and snarky in her mind as she is in the real world."
“Raising Buchanan” was a highlight at the 2019 Phoenix Film Festival, full of laughter and is an excellent example of how our creative outlets can help us cope even when the situation is bad. The film plays exclusively at Harkins Scottsdale Shea."
"This movie did not disappoint. It was side-splitting; just hysterical."
"First off, this is probably one of the most original concepts for a film that I have seen it years."
" Ruth also has some illuminating chats with a living, breathing embodiment of former President James Buchanan, played with real panache by Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). These back-and-forths are the most entertaining in the film, as dramatically interesting as they are playful."
"Amanda Melby plays her with deadpan quirkiness, sometimes reminding me of Tina Fey in her delivery of certain lines."
"Raising Buchanan is the type of low-budget indie filmmaking I like to see: an oddball movie that owns its absurd premise and has some fun with it."
"...Writer/director Dellis has managed to craft an enormously clever comedy, that had the risk of going of the rails and becoming madcap, but instead through the timely written dialogue between Ruth and Buchanan it oddly enough helps keep the movie grounded, which is also a testament to the quality of Dellis’ directing as well as the outstanding acting between Rene Auberjonois and Amanda Melby..."
"Dellis’ creativity and rhythm build a world worth spending time in."
"Melby’s prickly irreverence and Auberjonois’ stately stubbornness is a formula for perfect chemistry. Together, with charm and wit, they ground an otherwise ridiculous caper, digging beneath the surface to mine for emotional and thematic gold."
"It’s a testament to Dellis’ writing, and the deft, breezy work of his cast, that the plot and themes never spin out of control, except when they need to."
"This is a very well scripted and well edited quirky little adorable comedy about three money struggling women, a ventriloquists mafia and one presidential corpse. The lead, Amanda Melby gave a very endearing performance. Bits of heartfelt drama never cross over into the sappy zone. And supporting performances by M. Emmet Walsh and Rene Auberjonois were quite outstanding. This film has a great soul and I hope it makes some more noise in the coming months. I'd like to see it get legs."
IFP/PHX's Aaron Kes chats with Amanda Melby and Bruce Dellis.