Carrie Pilby will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9!

Anticipation has been growing steadily for this new movie. You have enjoyed behind-the-scenes looks here at Byrneholics. I have recommended Caren Lissner’s book, upon which the film is based, and urged you to go out and grab a copy. It is wonderful! The cast is great (Bel Powley, Colin O’Donoghue, Jason Ritter, William Moseley) and the film reunites Gabriel Byrne and Nathan Lane after their work together in No Pay, Nudity. This is director Susan Johnson’s first feature film. Go, Susan! She has tons of previous projects and this film is another good example of Mr. Byrne’s commitment to working with women directors:

Susan Johnson is a filmmaker based in San Francisco. She graduated from the American Film Institute and has produced numerous films, including Mean Creek (04), Eye of the Hurricane (11), The Between (13), and God Help the Girl (14). Carrie Pilby (16) is her first feature film.

gb-carrie-pilby-tiff2016-promo-20160816Gabriel Byrne, with Bel Powley’s hat

The film will screen at TIFF 5 times!

Friday, September 9, 2:00 pm

Saturday, September 10, 9:00 am and ***12:00 noon (two showings!)

Wednesday, September 14, ***3:45 pm

Saturday, September 17, 12:00 noon

***Please note: Author Caren Lissner contacted me about these two screenings. Turns out these are for Industry/Media folks only, so be aware! Sorry.


And finally, here is the synopsis and other information provided by TIFF 2016:

Awkward, isolated and disapproving of most of the people around her, a precocious 19-year-old genius is challenged to put her convictions to the test by venturing out on to the NYC dating scene, in this adaptation of Caren Lissner’s best-selling 2003 novel.

Depending on your point of view, Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley) either has a problem or she is a problem. This very clever girl graduated Harvard at the age of 19 and lives in a small NYC apartment paid for by her London-based father. World on a string, right? On the contrary — Carrie has no job, no purpose, and no friends, because she actively dislikes just about everyone (rating them “morally and intellectually unacceptable”) as only a teenager can. Her one regular contact is her dad’s therapist friend, Dr. Petrov (Nathan Lane), who after a fruitless series of weekly visits finally sets Carrie some homework: a five-point plan to get her life together.

Carrie grudgingly agrees to go through the list, but her execution leaves something to be desired. Item #3 (“Go on a date — with someone you like!”) backfires particularly badly when her Craigslist mate search leads to a connection with Matt (Jason Ritter), a man who is engaged but “unsure.” The results of that endeavour call for an emergency visit to Dr. Petrov. And when her father’s circumstances undergo a drastic change, Carrie begins to understand that reconciling with the past is the only way to tick those items off the to-do list.

Adapted from Caren Lissner’s bestselling novel, Carrie Pilby is a winning comedy about the metropolitan life of privileged youth, but it’s also much more than that. As the source of Carrie’s misanthropy is gradually revealed, our empathy for her grows, even if we want to pull our hair out in frustration at her lack of life skills. You might just end up loving her, even if she hates you.

I cannot locate a trailer yet, but no doubt one will be along shortly.

Congratulations on the premiere, Carrie Pilby cast and crew! Best wishes for a lovely festival experience! heart

carrie-pilby-promo-02ABel Powley and friends


  1. I’m definitely going to head up there either Sept 10 or Sept 17 to see this! I haven’t read the book but I’m going to grab a copy to read before the premiere.

    • Your to-do list: 1. Give Caren Lissner a hug from me. 2. Watch and enjoy Carrie Pilby. 3. Write a review 4. Take lots of pics (of the Carrie Pilby poster, of people attending, of yourself and Caren and whomever else is there, whatever!). I am so jealous. And so happy you can go! <3

  2. Sadly the timing conflicts with my work schedule so I won’t be able to go to Toronto. I look forward to reading Kristen’s always perceptive reviews. The film should screen in cinemas soon given its exposure at TIFF. If not, I’ll pester my local art house cinemas and film fests to screen it here.


    • I wish you could see it in Toronto, but then, I wish *I* could see it in Toronto! ;-)

      The film will undoubtedly make it to theaters near us. Can’t wait to see Caren Lissner’s story on the big screen!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.