|Country of production||Poland|
|Year of publication||2020|
|Directed by||Daria Woszek|
|Edited by||Agnieszka Glińska,
Marygoround (also spelled MaryGoRound, original title Maryjki) is a black comedy film directed by Daria Woszek, which premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival in August 2020.
Maria works in a small Polish town as a grocery store clerk. Single by conviction, the lonely woman is agnostic and leads a dull, uneventful life. Maria has only two passions. One is reading love stories in dime novels, the other is collecting statues of the Virgin Mary.
As Maria suffers from hot flashes and she struggles with menopause, her doctor prescribes her hormone replacement therapy, and on the eve of her 50th birthday, her life begins to take a completely unexpected turn. As the estrogen from the hormone patch seeps through Maria’s body, she quickly begins to experience a change, including a change in her personality; she becomes more confident, more sensual, and begins to live dissolutely. Her fun-loving and free-spirited niece Helena, who regularly camps out on her couch after a long string of failed relationships and a recent breakup, notices her aunt’s change. Mary begins to do things that were previously unthinkable to her. This includes having dinner with a younger employee of a fashion store. A presence in her home, however, does not seem to approve of Maria’s newfound lust for life.
The film was directed by Daria Woszek, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Sylwester Piechura and Aleksandra Świerk. About the premise of the film, Woszek said that it is said that when a woman reaches menopause, crosses this “magic line”, and can no longer have children, her life is basically over. Women become transparent at that stage. With her own mother, however, Woszek had observed that many women finally feel like themselves after menopause: “You don’t care if someone finds you attractive, you’re not doing anything you don’t want to do.” Women at this age didn’t define themselves by social roles.
Speaking about the mix of genres in her film, Woszek said that in Poland the “cinema of moral angst” is a tradition and still very strong. One fear of people there, she said, is being seen as “frivolous”. About the retro feeling the film gives off, especially through the shop where Maria works and very much designed in the style of the 1980s, the director said such places still exist in Poland and remembers what life was like in post-communist Poland when everyone blushed looking at colorful magazines from Germany.
Polish theatre actress Grażyna Misiorowska took the title role of Maria. She and the director have known each other since their student days. Magdalena Koleśnik plays Maria’s colleague Marzenka, Helena Sujecka plays her niece Helena and Pawel Smagala plays Mr. Cwiarteczka, the younger clerk of a fashion shop.
The film was scheduled to premiere in March 2020 at the South by Southwest Film Festival, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, the first screening took place on August 25, 2020 at the Fantasia International Film Festival. In late September and early October 2020, Marygoround will be presented at the Calgary International Film Festivalfollowed by a screening at CinÉast in Luxembourg and at the Mastercard Off Camera Festival in Krakow drive-in cinemas.
Sarah Ward of the British film magazine Screen International writes that the film not only makes a visual impact, but narratively this lively black comedy is not easy to forget. Daria Woszek has realised an unparalleled, deliberately exaggerated and absurd, yet clever and insightful exploration of a woman who has spent a lifetime getting used to being overlooked. Ward also highlights Alicja Kazimierczak’s production design and Maria’s sapphire apartment, which is a particular feast for the eyes.
Calgary International Film Festival 2020
- Nomination for Best Feature Film in International Competition (Daria Woszek)
Fantasia International Film Festival 2020
- Award for Best Film (Daria Wosjek)
- Award for Best Director (Daria Wosjek)
- Best Actress Award (Grażyna Misiorowska)
- Honorable mention by the jury at the New Flesh Award (Grażyna Misiorowska)
Gijón International Film Festival 2020
- Award for Best Film in the Main Competition (Daria Woszek)
- Best Actress Award (Grażyna Misiorowska)
- Marygoround at crew united, retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Dawid Dróżdż Menopauza – wyzwalający czas w życiu. Polska czarna komedia o 50-letniej dziewicy na prestiżowym festiwalu. In: wyborcza.pl, 27 August 2020 (Polish)
- Mastercard Off Camera 2020: “Maryjki” Darii Woszek powalczą o prestiżową nagrodę. In: kultura.onet.pl. Retrieved 29 September 2020 (Polish)
- Sarah Ward ‘Marygoround’: Fantasia Review. In: screendaily.com, Aug. 26, 2020.
- Marta Bałaga Daria Woszek, Réalisatrice de Marygoround: “Mon héroïne est vierge et elle en est heureuse”. In: cineuropa.org, 26 August 2020.
- Grażyna Misiorowska. In: filmpolski.pl. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
- Marygoround. In: ciffcalgary.ca. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Marygoround. In: cineast.lu. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
- Paweł Gzyl Przegląd polskiego i światowego kina niezależnego w ramach festiwalu Mastercard Off Camera tylko online. In: Gazeta Krakowska, 11 September 2020 (Polish)
- Marygoround. In: ciffcalgary.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
- Etan Vlessing Polish Comedy ‘Marygoround’ Wins Top Prizes at Fantasia Film Fest. In: The Hollywood Reporter, September 3, 2020.