Miss Monday

Director: Benson Lee
Screenwriters: Benson Lee, Paul Leyden, Richard Morel

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


Roman is a screenwriter teetering on the edge of schlock, blocked by the mediocrity of his newest screenplay. His heroine, “Marianne,” a successful and ambitious woman who has built a career in the male-dominated world of finance, is the root of his dilemma. Alas, Roman has no idea who this woman is. When his mentor gives him sage advice, “Start out with a character, and you’ll find you created a type; start out with a type, and you'll find you created nothing,"Roman sets out to find a "real life” Marianne. His quest leads him to Gloria. He becomes obsessed with her, invading her private life, even her home, and eventually getting trapped in her closet when she arrives home unexpectedly. The night that ensues changes his perceptions forever.

In London, where Miss Monday was shot, director Benson Lee found two superb actors, James Hicks and especially Scottish actress Andrea Hart, whose startlingly bold performance exposes the darkest private moments of Gloria’s life. Lee is most inventive when using contrasting cinematic styles to change tone drastically between these two colliding worlds. Roman’s world is glib, sheltered, and theatrical, whereas Gloria is plagued by “real” problems that exist in a real world. It is from Roman’s point of view that we become observers, even voyeurs. Uncomfortably so? Yes, but not without unforgettable effect. Lee’s precise filmmaking constructs a brilliant, gripping character study that leaves us pondering what may lurk beneath even our most well-constructed façades.

Benson Lee, Director
Benson Lee was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1969 and grew up in Philadelphia. He made several “short features” while attending the University of Hawaii. After graduation, he moved to Europe to make his first feature film, Miss Monday. He currently resides in New York City.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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