Gina Vaynshteyn
Updated September 08, 2014 7:18 am

We ADORE Chris Messina—who plays the adorably brash, arrogant-but-secretly-sensitive Dr. Castellano on The Mindy Projectso naturally, we’re super excited about his directorial debut. Messina has already shown incredible diversity and talent in Six Feet Under, Newsroom, and Monogamy, so it’s not surprising, his upcoming film, Alex of Venice, is getting lots of attention.

The movie, which has already been a hit at festivals, has just officially been picked up for distribution—meaning it will be in theaters so the rest of us non-festival-goers can see it, thank you very much.

Alex of Venice, starring Messina, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson, Derek Luke, and Katie Nehra, is about a woman named Alex, whose life falls to pieces after her husband up and leaves her one day. Alone, she still has to raise her 10-year-old son, as well as care for her dad, who has Alzheimer’s. Lily, Alex’s free-spirited sister, arrives and shakes up everyone’s lives, reminding them of life’s goodness, and everything it can offer.

To me, the film’s premise sounds vulnerably beautiful, a story that calls for indie realism and quirkiness we loved so much in flicks like Lost in Translation and I Heart Huckabees.

Variety reviewed Alex of Venice when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and had some good things to say about it. “The pleasures of well-observed characters and small epiphanies are undeniable,” writes critic Ronnie Schieb, adding that the film “will attract connoisseurs of the laid-back.” I’m not sure how you can be a connoisseur of the laid-back, but I’m assuming she means the film will be more of a meditative, ethereal experience, rather than one that depends too heavily on fast-paced comedy.

Luckily, we don’t have to wait TOO long for Alex of Venice to be released in theaters. We’ll be able to see Messina’s vision for ourselves in early 2015.

(Images via, via)