Winter 2017

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28 CINEMONTAGE / Q1 2017 The film, which is scheduled to open domestically March 3 through Bleecker Street Media, depicts a young newspaper journalist Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried), who has a complicated relationship with retired businesswoman Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine). Harriet is so controlling that she wants her obituary written in advance of her death, a task that the newspaper assigns to Anne. But the reporter soon finds that no one has anything good to say about Harriet. Wong got the job of editing The Last Word by a circuitous route. Director Peter Segal, for whom she'd edited a pilot, recommended her for a TV show. She didn't get that job, but impressed one of the producers, who then recommended her to Pellington. "I interviewed with Mark over lunch and we talked about how the script personally affected us," Wong reveals. "I said that the movie has to be delightful and meaningful. And when I said that, he said, 'I'm sold.' We agreed on what the movie would really be about." Soon after beginning work in February 2016, Wong felt she was in the midst of a creative experience. "I learned a lot on the movie about discovering the magic in characters," she says. "I was thinking about how when you read the script, you have one idea, and when you get the footage, it's something else. And you, the editor, have to figure out what that is and forget what you thought it should be." In an early conversation with Pellington, Wong recalls telling him that Amanda's character by Debra Kaufman portraits by Christopher Fragapane A s the new comedy The Last Word premiered at the Sundance Film Festival January 24, editor Julia Wong, ACE, was recalling to CineMontage what a great experience she had cutting the movie. "Director Mark Pellington was a great collaborator and so much fun to work with," she says. "We hit it off right away." Julia Wong Gets 'The Last Word' The Last Word. Bleecker Street Media.

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