Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

Madeline’s Madeline 2018

Directed by Josephine Decker

Bracingly fresh and riotously entertaining, this portrait of a talented young actress torn between her overbearing mother and an ambitious director stars Miranda July, Molly Parker and striking newcomer Helena Howard.

USA In English
94 minutes DCP



Krista Parris
Elizabeth Rao


Ashley Connor


Josephine Decker
Harrison Atkins

Production designer

Charlotte Royer

Costume designer

Sarah Maiorino


Caroline Shaw


Helena Howard (Madeline)
Miranda July (Regina)
Molly Parker (Evangeline)
Okwui Okpokwasili (nurse
Sunita Mani (assistant Max)
Felipe Bonilla (Santos
cousin Elmer)
Lisa Tharps (Laura)
Curtiss Cooke (George)
Reynaldo Piniella (Jaime)
Myra Lucretia Taylor (Kaila)


Berlin 2018

Newcomer Helena Howard delivers a star-making turn in this fierce and vividly impressionistic tour-de-force from up-and-coming indie director Josephine Decker. Sixteen-year-old Madeline is an exceptionally talented actress who has become an integral part of a prestigious Manhattan theatre group, but a fractious relationship with her overbearing mother (Miranda July) and references to past visits to the psych ward indicate that home life is less than rosy. When the theatre group’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) decides to evoke Madeline’s troubled history in their latest production the lines between performance and reality start to blur.

“As Madeline takes her tentative first steps into the adult world, Decker’s incessantly inquisitive, intensely subjective style of filmmaking captures both the dizzying joy and abject terror of adolescence. The scenarios are familiar… but the director’s refusal to romanticise or trivialise her protagonist’s plights ensures that their depiction feels bracingly fresh.

By Decker’s own admission, the creative processes depicted on screen closely mirror those of Madeline’s Madeline itself, so it’s laudable to see the emerging auteur grapple so transparently and self-reflexively with her own methods. That she does so while delivering a flat-out thrilling stream-of-consciousness climax seals this as something very special indeed – a film that is at once intimidatingly dense and breezily concise, uncompromisingly experimental and riotously entertaining.” — Paul O’Callaghan, Sight & Sound