Blue Jay

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Blue Jay, Starring Mark Duplass And Sarah Paulson

After a chance meeting when they both return to their small Californian hometown, former high-school sweethearts, Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) reflect on life and their shared past.

Is It Any Good?

What are the essential ingredients necessary for a gripping and affecting movie? A large cast? Several glamorous locations? A big budget? Computer generated special effects?


Director Alex Lehmann’s first feature film, Blue Jay, proves that old adage - less is more. For, when you have a compelling story (written by Mark Duplass) and two actors at the top of their game, what more could you possibly need?



Shot in black and white with very little in the way of action, Blue Jay’s success rests upon the chemistry and performances of Paulson and Duplass. In lesser hands, this could have been quite the risk. 


However, both Duplass and Paulson are superb - exhibiting wonderful on screen chemistry from their first chance meeting to their emotional trip down memory lane. Duplass' powerful portrayal conveys the depth of Jim’s heartbreak and loss. Meanwhile, Paulson's performance is electric - she is truly luminous in this movie.


That the film’s dialogue is largely improvised makes these two central performances even more impressive. Jim and Amanda's story is told in a pared down, often brutally truthful tone - drawing us in as revelations unfold.  


I would highly recommend Blue Jay. You can find this gripping, bittersweet movie over on Netflix.  

Random Observations

According to an article by Indiewire, Netflix financed Blue Jay without seeing a script. Duplass secured the film’s funding on the basis of a ten page outline.


Have you watched Blue Jay?


If so, what did you think of this movie? Let me know by leaving a comment in the box below!


Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    John Schneider (Wednesday, 05 April 2017 15:23)

    I completely agree with your review! Paulson's performance was riveting. I'll have to watch this film again.

  • #2

    Vera Hull (Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:03)

    A Truly magical film. I laughed and cried, with them. I felt as if I was there. Totally engaging. When It ended I was sad. I wanted more. Amazing acting and chemistry. A lot of people can relate to the 'lost love' / ' the one that got away' romance they shared. Thinking what their life together could have been like. What their child would have become etc. Really didn't want it to end. Better than LaLa Land. MAGICAL

  • #3

    Jane (Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:37)

    Hi John,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope that you enjoyed Blue Jay just as much when you watched it again!

  • #4

    Jane (Saturday, 12 August 2017)

    Hi Vera,
    I agree... Blue Jay is such a wonderful film. Criminally overlooked. Think it is high time for a re-watch!

  • #5

    robert (Wednesday, 06 December 2017 01:59)

    A great movie, Story, script acting all 12 out of 10
    Who could want more

  • #6

    Jane (Wednesday, 06 December 2017 10:02)

    Hi Robert, I absolutely agree! Who could ask for more? :)

  • #7

    Patti (Sunday, 09 September 2018 05:10)

    I loved this film. My heart hurts, though.

  • #8

    Izzy (Thursday, 07 November 2019 21:03)

    I think this film works particularly for mid-age plus people because even in the happiest moments we wonder about the choices we made and the ‘what ifs’. If we are not so happy, thoughts turn to the times we were and I guess we ‘romanticise’ those relationships we had in the past and yearn to relive them with the benefit of hindsight. This movie expresses this so well.