Millennium Entertainment has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to Welcome to Me, a comedy-drama starring Kristen Wiig that made its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Shira Piven (Fully Loaded) from an original screenplay by Eliot Laurence, the film star Wiig as Alice Klieg, a fame-obsessed woman with borderline personality disorder who, after winning millions from the lottery, decides to spend her loot on a television talk show starring herself. Wes Bentley (Interstellar), Linda Cardellini (Return), Joan Cusack (Friends with Money), James Marsden (The Best of Me), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding), and Tim Robbins (Mystic River) co-star.
Welcome to Me is the latest film cementing Wiig’s indie screen credentials. The former Saturday Night Live stand-out and co-writer of Bridesmaids (for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay alongside writing partner Annie Mumolo) has in recent years made an about-face, embracing more dramatic fare. While a bit part in Friends With Kids (2012) and starring roles in Girl Most Likely (2012) and Hateship Loveship (2014) made little impressions with critics or audiences, Wiig scored with the recent release The Skeleton Twins, opposite her SNL co-star Bill Hader. That feature, which opened this past September and had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was a hit critically and is one of the top-grossing indie features of the year. Wiig looks to continue flexing her dramatic muscles with her recently announced 2015 Sundance entries The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Nasty Baby, the latter of which is a new drama by director Sebastian Silva (Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus). Wiig is also attached to co-star in Ridley Scott’s The Martian opposite Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.
Reviews out of Toronto offer an early suggestion that Welcome to Me may increase her already growing credibility as dramatic actress. Justin Chang in his Variety review said, “As played with bipolar brilliance by Wiig, her extraordinary straight-faced control occasionally giving way to violent fits of fury (including one public meltdown that leads to a surprising full-frontal nude scene), Alice could easily have worked as one of the actress’ Saturday Night Live characters, which is hardly a knock against her.” Millennium Entertainment plans to release Welcome to Me some time in 2015.