Director: Jennifer Leitzes
Screenwriters: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


A character-driven action drama with a distinctly idiosyncratic edge, Montana catapults us into a shadowy underworld of double dealings and decadence. Set in the final days of a rapidly unraveling crime organization, Montana is a slow-burn thriller that serves up high-velocity intrigue and electrifying entertainment. Alternately audacious and affectionate, this is a first-rate debut by an exciting new talent.

Having grown up in the organization, Claire is the boss’s best lieutenant and most devoted operative. Her partner Nick, formerly a professional of peerless savvy, is now struggling to stave off the debilitation of cancer. When money is stolen, Claire and Nick find themselves the victims of a shrewd setup and running targets for the boss’s misplaced revenge. To make matters worse, Claire is stuck with Kitty (Robin Tunney), the boss’s cocaine-tweaked mistress, who has murdered his only son. Though initially desperate to restore her name and resurrect harmony, Claire comes to realize that she must reevaluate her unreciprocated loyalty. With Kitty as an unlikely ally, Claire rises to face the pain of betrayal and the imminent loss of her beloved Nick.

Smashing through gender stereotypes and conventional plot lines, Montana is genre with a steely-eyed feminist twist. Kyra Sedgwick turns in a dynamic performance in the lead role of Claire, while Stanley Tucci infuses Nick with a superbly droll composure. In this suspenseful and wholly engaging drama, Jennifer Leitzes combines heart-pumping action with wry humor, displaying a keen eye for the minutiae of human frailty.

Jennifer Leitzes, Director
Born in 1971 in New York and educated at Wesleyan University, Jennifer Leitzes has been working and living in Los Angeles for four years. Her first industry job was craft service on a Roger Corman film. Although a promising career in food services was at hand, she moved on, serving timne as a production assistant, location manager, and writer’s assistant. Leitzes has been dircting all her life, but Montana is her first feature film.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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