What They Had: Elizabeth Chomko and Robert Forster on Crafting Sensitive Family Drama (Interview)

What They Had

The first-time filmmaker and the veteran actor sit down to talk about Chomko’s experiences with Alzheimer’s in her own family, the switch from studio to auteur filmmaking, and more.

This piece was originally posted on Alcohollywood

While dysfunctional family dramas are arguably a dime a dozen, Elizabeth Chomko’s Chicago-centric debut What They Had stands out substantially from the pack. A touching, heartfelt tale of a woman (Hilary Swank) who returns home to help her brother (Michael Shannon) and father (Robert Forster) care for her Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother (Blythe Danner), What They Had is refreshingly nuanced, filled with strong, witty dialogue and incredible performances from its lead cast.

While at the Chicago International Film Festival, we sat down with Chomko for a roundtable discussion (along with Pat McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com and Al and Linda Lerner of MoviesandShakers.com) – with Forster popping in as a late-interview surprise. Check out our roundtable, along with that wonderful cameo, in our podcast below.

Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)


What They Had mends familial fences in theaters now.

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Clint Worthington

Clint Worthington is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Spool, as well as one of the founders of the website/podcast Alcohollywood in 2011. He is also a Senior Writer at Consequence of Sound, as well as the co-host/producer of Travolta/Cage. You can also find his freelance work at IndieWire, UPROXX, Syfy Wire, The Takeout, and Crooked Marquee.

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