First Look: Frances Ferguson

Take a look at the newest sly drama from Bob Byington

Kaley Wheless in Frances Ferguson, the latest film from Austin director Bob Byington

Nobody understands unlikable characters better than Bob Byington. The Austin filmmaker has specialized in the spiky, the unapologetic, and the deliberately obtuse, and his newest film, Frances Ferguson, spotlights one of his most charmingly charmless creations to date.

Frances Ferguson follows a high school teacher (Kaley Wheless) who ends up as the talk of her tiny Nebraska town as her life falls apart. That would be more of an issue if she cared what anyone thought, and didn't despise her life anyway. All the while, an informed and uncritical voice (the sonorous tones of Nick Offerman) narrates her exploits and apathy.

We talked with the film's director and star before the film's world premiere at SXSW (read the full interview here). At the end of the month Byington is heading to Europe, with three screenings of his latest at Filmfest Munchen in Munich, and he's sent over a clip to us for just a taste of Frances' delightfully sour attitude.

We'll have more on Frances Ferguson as it continues on the festival circuit and heads to release later this year.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Bob Byington, SXSW, Frances Ferguson, Nick Offerman, Kaley Wheless

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