'Puzzle' Pieces Things Together at the Summer KCET Cinema Series on July 17th

Q&A immediately following with actress Kelly MacDonald and director Marc Turtletaub.

“Life is random, but when you finish a puzzle you know you’ve made all the right choices.” A passing line that neatly encapsulates the mood of “Puzzle”: a drama about a repressed housewife who discovers an opportunity to change the course of her mundane life, thanks to her newfound aptitude for assembling jigsaw puzzles. “Puzzle” introduces Agnes, played with still-waters-run-deep eloquence by Kelly MacDonald ("Boardwalk Empire," "Goodbye Christopher Robin"), on the afternoon of a birthday party in her home. She moves virtually unnoticed among her guests, quietly serving platters of food and cleaning up messes (although, as we discover, it’s her own birthday). She’s a believer in order and routine: running the household and tending to her husband and sons as she tended to her widowed father before them; volunteering at church; cooking dinner for the family. A birthday gift of an iPhone bewilders her since she’s firmly in the analog world but a gift of a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle absorbs her with unexpected delight.

“She’s just sort of there in body,” says Macdonald, who was intrigued by the character of Agnes. “She was married and had children very, very young, probably straight out of high school. Her life has been almost pre-ordained. Her character arc was very appealing in that she eventually, in her own way, finds herself.” Agnes secretly thinks of herself as a mathematician; her mind silently whirs away beneath her placid exterior, and her flair with puzzles shifts this clamped-down part of her persona into gear.

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“Puzzle” is adapted from the Argentine film "Rompecabezas" (Spanish for puzzle), the debut film from writer/director Natalia Smirnoff. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theaters on July 13 by Sony Pictures Classics. The film’s star Kelly MacDonald and director Marc Turtletaub will be in attendance for a Q&A session immediately following the screening with host Pete Hammond who can also be seen in KCET’s Must See Movies.

The summer season of the KCET Cinema Series is generously sponsored by the James and Paula Coburn Foundation as well as Deadline.com. The season began on June 5th and runs through July 31st. Season passes are available online via Eventbrite and individual admissions are available at the door for $25 each.

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