Dee Rees has insisted she’s “still proud” of The Last Thing He Wanted despite the negative reviews from critics.
In the adaptation of Joan Didion’s book, Anne Hathaway starred as a journalist covering the 1984 U.S. presidential election who inherits her ailing father’s position as an arms dealer for Central America.
The film, which also starred Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez, and Willem Dafoe, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, but was heavily panned, and was subsequently released quietly by Netflix on 21 February.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Mudbound director insisted she has made peace with the reaction.
“You take your knocks, you live and you learn, you try to do better,” she said. “I would make that film again. I’m still proud of it.”
However, Rees admitted she felt guilty about the flop when she considers her cast and crew.
“When you’re making a film, (your team) has to believe in you and trust you and spend six, seven months of their lives with you. All this toil and sacrifice, I didn’t make it pay off for them,” the 43-year-old shared.
And the misfire has helped Rees inform her career going forward, with her adding: “It felt like a rite of passage… Now there’s nothing to be afraid of. I know the worst that can happen.”
Rees will follow up The Last Thing He Wanted with a new adaptation of George Gershwin’s classic musical Porgy and Bess, and she admitted she was feeling the pressure to get it right.
“(It) is an iconic property… I want to do the characters justice, and I feel really honoured to work on it,” she added.
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