ROLE:  Author Milan Daneker

GENRE: Romantic drama


THEATER  RELEASE:  December 11, 2015


29-year-old assistant editor and aspiring writer Alice Harvey is funny, smart and emotionally self-destructive. Climbing the ranks at a notable publishing company, she struggles to write her own story, forever stymied by memories of her youthful relationship with her dad’s older best friend, Milan. After 15 years Milan and Alice's paths cross once again, forcing them to confront events that have long gone unaddressed.

Film Details

Emily VanCamp - Alice
Michael Nyqvist - Milan Daneker
Ana Mulvoy Ten - Young Alice
Michael Cristofer - Dad
David Call ... Emmet
Ali Ahn - Sadie
Mason Yam - Tyler

* * * * *

Director - Marya Cohn
Screenplay - Marya Cohn
Cinematography - Trevor Forrest
Music - Will Bates

86 minutes

View trailer

Production Notes:
Filming began in NYC on June 13, 2013.

Locations used:
East 77th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.
ICI Restaurant, 246 Dekalb Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn.
Conservatory Water Central Park, (from 72nd to 75th Street) Manhattan.
Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Central Park (East 74th Street) Manhattan.
6th Avenue and Walker Street, Manhattan.

From the Director:

On casting Michael: "I was watching films on Netflix looking for actors, and I saw a Swedish movie called As it is in Heaven and just thought, 'That’s my Milan.' The casting director sent him a script, he read it and said yes, and eventually he showed up on set. It was kind of magic. It was important to me that Milan be more than a bad guy and that the audience experience his magnetism the way Alice does. I found that in Michael. It was a difficult role for him because he has a daughter, and he was scared of it all the time—except when he was playing it. He’s that good an actor."

On those 'delicate scenes':  "Ana’s age helped (in her 20s). I might have had some long sensitive discussions about it, given my temperament, but Michael and Ana preferred to deflect with humor. They were constantly joking with each other on set. Trevor, the DP and I, acted as stand-ins during a couple of rehearsals of the hardest scenes to make the actors more comfortable. I think Ana felt free to speak up if anything felt too much for her."

Film Festival Screenings
Mill Valley Film Festival
The Los Angeles Film Festival
Sedona International Film Festival
Naples International Film Festival
Publicity Stills

From the film's coffee table book

* * * * *

"A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky" by Lewis Carroll

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July—

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear—

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?

Film Comments

"Michael Nyqvist, who viewers may know best as the heroic Mikael from the original 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' films, is no hero in writer/director Marya Cohn’s new movie. Instead of helping a young woman, here Nyqvist’s Milan takes advantage of one, and the results are often hard to watch. Nyqvist has a difficult role, and the fact that he never makes Milan more than wholly unsympathetic is to his credit."   ...Carrie Kahn, Spinning Platters

"The director, Ms. Cohn, making her feature debut, wrote the script and handily keeps the story’s many elements in motion. A third-act sequence in which the Internet unlocks Alice’s creativity as she pleads for Emmett’s forbearance is a little tidy in its overnight resolution. But Ms. Cohn stops well short of overweening sentiment. Given her confident hand behind the camera and gift for rich female characters, you hope to see more portraits from her in the future."  ...Andy Webster, NY Times

"It certainly helps that Cohn handles all the performers very deftly, from small roles to Nyqvist’s key one, which the actor pulls off in such a way that we’re never fully sure whether Milan is a methodical predator or simply too self-absorbed to recognize the damage he inflicts... The assured but unshowy package is particularly complemented by Jessica Brunetto’s editing and Will Bates’ score, among other factors that lend the film’s overall impact the alert observational intelligence of a first-rate short story."  ...Dennis Harvey, Variety

"The feature debut of writer- director Marya Cohn, 'The Girl in the Book' is a quietly devastating portrait of innocence lost too soon and adulthood delayed too long. The story is efficiently told with unexpected twists and deft dialogue."   ...Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post

"The cast member who stood out most here is the culprit Milan Daneker by Michael Nyqvist. He did not even have to say anything - his eyes conveyed the emotions that he was feeling, from being sympathetic and helpful towards Alice to being lascivious and jealous of Alice's youth."   ...Ezine Articles

"Cohn displays deep sympathy with her protagonist’s intersecting emotional crises, scripting a narrative that’s intensely perceptive without becoming mired in mawkishness. Van Camp appears equally attuned to Alice’s travails, playing the distressed writer with a mixture of vulnerability, determination and compassion. Always reliable, Nyqvist struggles a bit with the role of Milan, who lacks sufficiently distinctive characterization to represent a viable threat to Alice’s well-being. As the young Alice, Mulvoy-Ten is appropriately conflicted and confused for a teenager on the cusp of adulthood facing an unsettling personal predicament. Cohn competently handles her directorial duties, sticking closely to the indie drama playbook and avoiding appreciable stylistic flourishes."   ...Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

“The Girl in the Book” stars Emily VanCamp in a many-layered and engaging performance as Alice, a woman who was seduced as a young teenager by a writer named Milan, played with stunning subtlety by Michael Nyqvist... Cohn does an excellent job of presenting the complicated tale with flashbacks skillfully woven into current action.... this movie is saved from mediocrity by the excellent script, the brilliant and deft hand of its director, the ceaselessly exciting musical score of Will Bates, and the actors ' inspired work. It’s well worth watching."   ...Debra Davey, La Splash

"Cohn’s sensitive and accomplished writing and directing belies her debut status: this seems like the product of a far more experienced storyteller. The two storylines are a lot to weave together and she does so seamlessly; her directing is fluid and creative, enhancing the themes through the film’s style."    ...Katie Walsh, IndieWire

"You can tell writer-director Marya Cohn knows her way around, so to speak. Her screenplay is natural with its dialogue and intricate in developing its characters. You can tell she knows how to capture the reality she is trying to depict, and she does so in a way that is every bit as dark as it is intriguing... The cast here is hit and miss. Michael Nyqvist is a definite hit. In fact, his performance–understated, strange, and subtle–is one of the most excellent deliveries by anybody all year. Emily VanCamp and David Call, while not quite so outstanding, also deliver solidly and make a likable screen pair."  ...Cinemaniac Reviews

"Marya Cohn’s debut feature is a surprisingly charming story of stifling male patriarchy in the book publishing industry... Cohn adeptly balances elements of contemporary romantic comedy and scathing cultural criticism in a film that is obviously deeply personal and simultaneously universal."   ...Sarah Winshall, Under the Radar magazine

"Written and directed by Marya Cohn, 'The Girl in the Book' is a gentle work that is filled with a personal passion that strikes with a measured intensity. The film is dark but not unhopeful... Quiet, short, and refreshingly under-dramatized, it is a competently made film that rightfully avoids the heavy plumes and manipulative garnishes of most modern romantic dramas, allowing the story to be less about a boy meeting a girl and more about a girl truly meeting herself and how that evolution changes everything around her. This is a wonderful little film."   ...David Duprey,

"VanCamp gives a layered, memorable performance while writer/director Marya Cohn, making her feature debut, has crafted a non-linear story that artfully tip-toes between cliche and truth."  ...Cary Darling, Star-Telegram

"Alice, in her own way, is a very tragic character and it’s her plight in overcoming these personal injustices that make her and the film fascinating to watch. The film often looks beautiful as well, with the cinematography by Trevor Forrest making distinct changes between the past and present day."   ...Allyson Johnson,

"'The Girl in the Book' is a highly recommended film to watch. It’s an excellent drama about how one person can change the present by recalling her past. It’s about pain that cannot be killed or cured by any medicine, but only with a great attempt of Alice Harvey, who is the only one that knows how to take the control over it."   ...Ulkar Alakbarova,

"Cohn's strongest skill is in scripting the beats for flashbacks to her half her lifetime ago, a series of traumatic reveals that speaks to why she's such a hot mess today. These psychological causes and effects are occasionally a bit too tidy, but Cohn is clearly on the right track toward making the kind of nuanced grown-up dramas that sadly are no longer in vogue."   ...Aaron Hillis, LA Weekly