This is My Life

Director: Nora Ephron
Screenwriters: Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


As one of the film industry’s most respected screenwriters, Nora Ephron has built a reputation for comic originality and sparkling invention. Her characters are memorable and fresh, often very different from others you’ve seen on the screen. Her two Academy Award–nominated screenplays,When Harry Met Sally and Silkwood, as well as Heartburn (which she adapted from her novel), resonate with insight and truth. With This Is Your Life, her feature directorial debut, she establishes herself as a remarkably controlled and capable filmmaker. Julie Kavner stars as Dottie Ingalls, who works in the cosmetics department at Macy’s on Queens Boulevard, and lives with her two daughters, sixteen-year-old Erica and ten-year-old Opal, and her Aunt Harriet in a row house in Ozone Park. Dottie’s dream is to become a performer, and the sudden death of Aunt Harriet gives her the nest egg to move to Manhattan and plunge into the late-night comedy scene. Meanwhile her daughters must adapt—to new schools, new friends, and most important, to their mother’s immediate success. As Dottie’s bookings pile up and her dreams begin to come true, Erica and Opal must face a life without the supporting presence of their mom—and what begins as a simple story about one woman’s success becomes a surprisingly complex tale about the complicated issues that affect working mothers and their kids.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]