Festinger, Rob 1963(?)–
Festinger, Rob 1963(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1963. Education: Attended New York University.
CAREER: Screenwriter. Worked variously as stand-up comedian, script reader, and in banking; Aurora Script Workshop, New South Wales, Australia, consultant.
AWARDS, HONORS: Best Screenplay designation, National Board of Review, and Best Screenplay designation, Golden Satellite Awards, both 2001, and Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, 2002, all for In the Bedroom.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Jackie Gleason project, To the Moon; October Squall (screenplay); We Need to Talk, with Lynne Ramsey, for the British Broadcasting Corporation.
SIDELIGHTS: Screenwriter Rob Festinger grew up in Connecticut and New Jersey. After high school, he went on to study at New York University's film school. While working as a script reader he discovered the Andre Dubus story, "Killings," and decided to turn it into a screenplay himself. Only later did he learn he should have first secured the film rights to the project. Festinger continued working and refining the screenplay, eventually joining forces with producer Graham Leader. Then in 1997, he teamed up with actor and aspiring director Todd Field, and together they worked on an additional rewrite of the screenplay that became the film In the Bedroom.
The movie tells the story of a middle-aged couple mourning the loss of their son; it was released in 2001 to critical acclaim and a number of awards, including an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay. Richard A. Blake, in a review for America, remarked of the film that Festinger and Field "never cheapen the human tragedy by reducing it to the comprehensible." In a review for Film Journal International, Kevin Lally pronounced the work "one of the rare films that derive power not from overwrought plot mechanics, but from an unhurried depiction of real human beings behaving in recognizable ways." And Phil Christman, writing for Christian Century, remarked that "the final moments are haunting, as is the film as a whole."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, March 4, 2002, Richard A. Blake, review of In the Bedroom, p. 23.
Christian Century, February 13, 2002, Phil Christman, review of In the Bedroom, p. 47.
Film Journal International, September, 2001, Kevin Lally, review of In the Bedroom, p. 51.
New Republic, September 17, 2001, Stanley Kauffmann, review of In the Bedroom, p. 28.
Jewish Journal Online, http://www.jewishjournal.com/ (March 22, 2002), Naomi Pfefferman, "The Dramatic Comedian: Screenwriter and Former Stand-up Rob Festinger Turns His Angst into Oscar Nomination for In the Bedroom."