Interview with Dante Ariola Director of Arthur Newman

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We had the great pleasure it was to talk with Dante Ariola about his debut feature film, Arthur Newman. It’s a fantastic look into a man going through an identity crisis. Here is a synopsis of the film.

Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is tired of his existence. Divorced, disconnected from his young son, dissatisfied with his love life, depressed and in the doldrums of middle age, he decides to make a radical change by walking away from his old life. He buys a new identity and hits the road as Arthur Newman to begin life anew, bound for Terre Haute, Indiana, where he dreams of reinventing himself as a golf pro at a tiny country club.

But his road trip is derailed by the entrance of Michaela “Mike” Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), whom Arthur discovers passed out poolside at a seedy roadside motel. Mike sees through Arthur’s identity scam, and soon enough Arthur sees through hers — she’s a kleptomaniac fleeing from domestic turmoil of her own. Soon romance blossoms on the road to Indiana as the unexpected couple infiltrates the lives of random strangers as a way of better grasping the essence of their own waylaid lives. Painful secrets unfold; new lives take shape. But is it possible to truly start all over again?

A cross-country odyssey of self-discovery and renewal, ARTHUR NEWMAN is a gently comic screen romance about two unlikely souls who fall in love and find a way to accept responsibility for who they really are.

What drew you to this story? – I just felt like it wasn’t a story I’ve seen done before. They idea about identity and the idea of figuring out who you are. It doesn’t feel like a movie about self discovery that you’ve ever seen.

Did you have Colin Firth and Emily Blunt in your mind in casting for the film? – Yeah there wasn’t a casting list for the film. Arthur has kind of a prickle personality. Whoever plays this role needs to have an empathetic quality to allow you to like him enough and go on this journey and that’s how Colin popped into my head. Once I could figure out that he could play an American. Then it just worked out that it ended up being another British actor with Emily. It really had to do with finding someone with two different ages. But that the two people have chemistry together.

This is a fantastic film. Colin Firth and Emily Blunt really do have amazing chemistry in the film. The trip that they embark on turns into an eye opening experience. Really great. I really enjoyed it. Check it out in theaters now.

Listen to the whole interview here.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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