Films & Schedules

  • Gigantic

  • Matt Aselton

99 minutes

Production Company:
Gigantic Movie LLC
Executive Producer:
Paul Dano, Scott Ferguson, Jerry Soloman, Jeff Preiss, John Wells
Mindy Goldberg, Christine Vachon
Adam Nagata, Matt Aselton
Production Designer:
Rick Butler
Peter Donahue
Beatrice Sisul
Damian Volpe
Roddy Bottum
Principal Cast: Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, Ed Asner, Jane Alexander, John Goodman, Ian Roberts, Robert Stanton

International Sales Agent:
Fortissimo Films

TIFF Tags: Romance  Comedy 

Monday September 0809:45PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0903:00PM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1103:15PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Brian Weathersby (Paul Dano of Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood) has a pretty ordinary life. He's single and has a decent job at a mattress store (scenically located in a Manhattan loft) that specializes in high-end Swedish merchandise. Born late in the lives of his parents (Ed Asner and Jane Alexander), Brian finds that he just can't match his two older, high-achieving brothers (Ian Roberts and Robert Stanton). Still, everyone in the family cherishes β€œthe afterthought.”

In reality, Brian is deeply dissatisfied with almost every aspect of his life, and spends much of his time pursuing his childhood dream of adopting a baby from China. Why China, only he knows. One day, Al Lolly (John Goodman) walks into the mattress store, a rich, bristly bear of a man with a very bad back. On Brian's advice, he orders the top-of-the-line mattress and stalks out, saying someone will be in later to arrange for delivery.

That someone is Al's daughter Harriet (Zooey Deschanel), who promptly falls asleep on the new bed. When she wakes to find that Brian has covered her with a blanket, she is touched, and takes tentative steps towards friendship and possible romance. When Brian's family discovers that he is dating someone – and that his longed-for adoption may have hit a snag – they barge into his life with the best of intentions. Soon Harriet's deep fear of commitment, Al's massive personality and the repressed Weathersby family all collide in an overwhelming ball of conflict, driving Brian to completely uncharacteristic behaviour.

Dano adeptly captures the external simplicity and internal complexity of Brian, perfectly matched by the honest yet anxiety-ridden Harriet's search for love. Goodman gives a bravura performance, all bluster one moment, all tender support and brusque paternal love the next. First-time filmmaker Matt Aselton has found a highly enjoyable, often funny and occasionally surreal way of asking some serious questions about commitment, family and the true nature of love.

Jane Schoettle

Matt Aselton was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Williams College with a degree in English literature. He began his career by directing commercials. Gigantic (08) marks his feature writing and directing debut.

Cadillac People's Choice Award