Sadness and Laughter Punctuate Emotional What They Had Trailer

Writer and director Elizabeth Chomko’s new family drama What They Had has been buzzing ever since its official premiere at Sundance in January. Today is a double treat as the film was chosen as an official TIFF selection and we get our first look at the trailer. If you love a heart-wrenching drama like me, this clip will bring you to tears and remind you to call your mom. Heartbreaking yet appropriately funny, Hilary Swank puts on a serious face as she and her family struggle to deal with her mother’s (Blythe Danner) Alzheimer’s.

It’s never easy dealing with family illnesses, and that’s what this award-worthy cast, Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, and Robert Forster must grapple with. The once exuberant, close family finds their world flipped upside down as they watch their mother’s mind deteriorate. It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when you aren’t ready to let go. And that’s how Burt (Forster) feels about his worsening wife who refers to him as her boyfriend and claims she plans to have another baby. He tells his daughter, “She’s my girl. You can’t take my girl away from me.” How our hearts are already aching.

The film picks up when Swank’s character, Bridget Ertz, returns home to Chicago due to her mother’s declining health after she wandered into a blizzard alone on Christmas Eve. Bridget finds herself extremely overwhelmed, not only dealing with the weight of her suffering mother, Danner, but also struggling to keep her marriage afloat. Her brother, Nicky (Shannon) devotes his whole life to tending to his aging parents, but it’s far from easy. The family cannot seem to agree on a solution, only leading to arguments and turmoil. The dramatic, funny, and touching trailer leaves us hopeful for peace in the family.

Here’s the official synopsis:

From first-time writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, WHAT THEY HAD centers on a family in crisis. Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother’s (Michael Shannon) urging to deal with her ailing mother (Blythe Danner) and her father’s (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together. In theaters this October.

What They Had opens in theaters October 12.

Featured Image: Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank star as Ruth and Bridget Keller in WHAT THEY HAD, a Bleecker Street release.
Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street