Jump, Darling Captivates The Drag Queen’s Coming Of Age While Reminding Us Why We Should Call Our Grandmas

Cloris Leachman’s Post Humous Performance is spectacular

Starring the late Academy Award and BAFTA Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman alongside newcomer Thomas Duplessie, the tender, multi-award-winning JUMP, DARLING follows a rookie drag queen reeling from a breakup. In need of an escape, he travels to the country, where he finds his grandmother in steep decline yet desperate to avoid the local nursing home. Jump, Darling will open in Los Angeles on March 18, Palm Springs and New Orleans on March 25, and will arrive on DVD & VOD platforms including iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Vimeo, DirecTV, Dish/Dish Digital, and through local cable & satellite providers on March 29. 

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LGBTQ+ family drama JUMP, DARLING, starring Oscar and BAFTA award-winning actress Cloris Leachman, who passed away on January 27th 2021 at the age of 94, in a performance praised by critics in this worthy swan-song for the Hollywood legend. The film will arrive in theaters this March followed closely by an on demand, digital and DVD release later that month.

Written and directed by Connell, the film stars newcomer Thomas Duplessie alongside Leachman, with supporting cast including Linda Kash (Best in Show), Jayne Eastwood (Chicago) and cameos from well-known drag queens Tynomi Banks (featured recently on Canada’s Drag Race), Fay Slift and Miss Fiercalicious. The film showcases six on-screen drag performances against a pop soundtrack including Robyn, Allie X, Rough Trade, Years & Years and more. The film is produced by Katie Corbridge (An Acquired Taste), Executive Produced by Karen Harnisch (White Lie) and Allison Black (Giant Little Ones). JUMP, DARLING tells the story of aspiring actor Russell (newcomer Thomas Duplessie), aka drag persona Fishy Falters. After a disastrous non-debut at Toronto drag club Peckers, Russell leaves his status-conscious boyfriend and takes shelter with his grandmother Margaret (Leachman) in Canadian wine country. Margaret is a woman coming to terms with her own mortality while determined to hang on to her independence.

While Russell struggles to establish himself at the local dive bar and flirts with Zachary, the not-so-straight busboy, Margaret fends off the best intentions of her daughter, Russell’s mom (Linda Kash), who wants to keep her safe by sending her to a retirement home. As tempers wear thin and family secrets are revealed, Russell and Margaret fight to maintain their dignity while being true to themselves. The initial seeds for JUMP, DARLING were two parallel tracks: Connell’s experience with end-of-life care conversations with his grandmother and his experience choosing life as an artist. “Over a period of years, my late grandmother struggled with how to prepare for her ‘decline’ –be it physical or mental,” shares Connell. “It was ‘the’ topic of conversation each time I would visit her. 

Meanwhile, I was struggling to maintain my resolve – against the forces and voices of self-doubt that every artist faces – and wanted to explore that in the distinctly queer context of drag. ”JUMP, DARLING held its International Premiere at BFI FLARE and US Premiere at Frameline (San Francisco) followed by OutFest (Los Angeles) where Leachman received a Jury Award Special Mention for performance. Racking up multiple awards along the way, the film has played dozens of festivals worldwide including NewFest: The New York LGBT Film Festival, Chicago Reeling, Virginia Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Cinema Diverse: The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival of Palm Springs, and FilmOut San Diego. Additional market premieres include Lover’s FF (Italy), Pink Apple FF (Sweden), Melbourne Queer FF (Australia), and the Seoul International Pride FF (Korea). The film’s World Premiere was a Special Preview Drive-In Presentation hosted by production-partner Inside Out Film Festival (Toronto).“Cloris Leachman delivers a powerful performance, and newcomer Thomas Duplessie dazzles as her grandson struggling to find his place in the world”, said Motisko. “Breaking Glass is honored to count Jump, Darling as part of its extensive and diverse LGBTQ lineup. Cloris Leachman won both an Academy Award and a BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Last Picture Show and holds the record for the most Primetime Emmy acting nominations in history – 22. She is best known for her role as Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, played to such great success that it led to her own television series spinoff, Phyllis. “Cloris was an icon and an ally,” said Connell. “To work with her, to know her, and now to share her final leading performance with the world is a true honor.” Jump, Darling will open in theaters March 18, and will be released March 29 on DVD and digital platforms including iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, Vimeo, DirecTV, Dish/Dish Digital, and through local cable & satellite providers.

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