The Off Hours

Director: Megan Griffiths
Screenwriters: Megan Griffiths

Institute History

  • 2011 Sundance Film Festival


In the languid world of the night shift at a highway diner in the Pacific Northwest, Francine’s small-town life consists of quickies in public restrooms and pouring coffee for truckers and townies. And the inertia isn’t limited to Francine; it extends to the diner owner, a short-order cook, a Serbian waitress, and Francine’s roommate. What they want is out of reach—or is it that they’ve lost track of wanting anything at all? When Oliver, a banker turned big-rig driver, becomes a diner regular, he sparks hope in Francine, introducing the possibility for change.
The Off Hours takes a precise sense of place and a moody atmosphere and impressively creates a complete environment. Writer/director Megan Griffiths draws complex characters, and she stays true to them, respecting their shortcomings and yearnings for connection. Amy Seimetz alluringly commands the film as Francine, a woman whose liberation from her mundane existence is long overdue.

— Kim Yutani

Screening Details

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