‘Janet Planet’ Trailer: Julianne Nicholson Shines in the A24 Coming-of-Age Festival Favorite

The bond between a mother and daughter is, for lack of a better term, always fraught.

In playwright-turned-filmmaker Annie Baker’s feature directorial debut, that relationship is pulled to its edges as “Mare of Easttown” Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson plays Janet, a mother called upon by her preteen daughter Lacy (Zoe Ziegler) to pick her up from summer camp. Lacy’s reason? She’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But maybe so is Janet. “Every moment in my life is hell,” Lacy tells her mother.

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Baker’s “Janet Planet” follows Janet through Lacy’s eyes as the mother-daughter duo delve into a codependent balance onscreen, with Janet cycling through relationships and other relatable ups and downs. Elias Koteas, Sophie Okonedo, and Will Patton also star in the feature, which is set in 1991.

The film premiered at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival and went on to screen at the New York and San Francisco film festivals. “Janet Planet” was also high among IndieWire’s Best Films of 2024 We’ve Already Seen. It’s an A24 release, hitting theaters later on June 21. “Janet Planet” was shot in 16mm by cinematographer Maria von Hausswolff, with Teresa Mastropierro serving as production designer and Lizzie Donelan as costume designer.

The IndieWire review for “Janet Planet” praised director Baker’s “transition from heralded playwright into [a] major cinematic voice.” The review reads: “Their dynamic is an inversion of the one we’re used to seeing between mothers and daughters in movies, where the former wants to control the latter and keep her from leaving the proverbial nest. Here, it’s Janet who is growing frustrated by Lacy’s clinginess, as evidenced by Nicholson’s subtle work, a hint of exhaustion creeping over her face in small moments. There is nothing artificial here, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t mystery. It’s the mystery of people and their unusual behaviors and the way they can flit in and out of our lives and our consciousness. A girl like Lacy is a mystery even to herself at this point in time, but she’s slowly on the path to figuring it all out. There’s also magic here — in the environment, in Janet’s allure, and in Baker herself, a talent defining herself in a new arena.”

“Janet Planet” hits theaters on Friday, June 21 from A24. Check out the trailer below.

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