The 24 Hour Woman

Director: Nancy Savoca
Screenwriters: Richard Guay, Nancy Savoca

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


Nancy Savoca’s fourth feature takes on superwomanhood with both warm intimacy and the breathless energy of live television. Avoiding predictable traps of pitting professional moms against bosses or bad daddies, Savoca cleverly confronts supermom Grace Santos with herself and her own creations.
Grace and Eddie Santos are married and the producer/ anchor team for a popular talk show, 24-Hour Woman. When Grace gets pregnant, the event is announced on the air before she can deal with the prospect of motherhood. The candid baby episode boosts ratings, and her pregnancy is exploited as the focus of the show. When baby finally arrives, she is a wrap on the series, not a new bundle of love. But when Eddie shirks his share of baby care, Grace summons all her skills in hilarious attempts to be the perfect mother and TV producer.
Savoca’s knack for capturing nuances of women’s everyday life is brilliantly displayed as talk-show
television becomes a metaphor for the hectic life of parent and professional and an indicted source of the
barriers between motherhood and masculinity which make career moms neurotic messes. Grace, played by a dynamic Rosie Perez, and a team of live-wire producers (perfectly portrayed by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Reno, and Patti Lupone) slave and sacrifice to create a myth which threatens their marriages, careers, and sanity.

Nancy Savoca, Director
Nancy Savoca began her career in 1989 with True Love, starring Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. In 1991 she directed Dogfight, starring Lili Taylor and River Phoenix, followed by Household Saints, with Taylor and Tracy Ullman. She cowrote all three and directed part of HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk, with Cher, Demi Moore, and Sissy Spacek. Forthcoming projects are The Janis Joplin Story, and The Daydreamer.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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