“What version of yourself do you want to be?” Gillian Jacobs is asked in the trailer for “The Seven Faces of Jane.” In addition to starring, the “Community” alumna directs alongside Gia Coppola (“Palo Alto”), Xan Cassavetes (“Kiss of the Damned”), Boma Iluma (“Comfort”), Ryan Heffington (“Baby Driver”), Julian J. Acosta (“What Bitch?”), Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”), and Alex Takacs (“Under the God, Part 2”). Each segment combines to make “The Seven Faces of Jane.”
The film tells the story of Jane (Jacobs), a young, devoted mother leading a mundane life — as she admits in the trailer, she “can’t remember the last time [she] felt free.” Jane’s adventures begin after sending her child to sleepaway camp. She embarks on a road trip where she encounters a peculiar cast of characters and even more peculiar events, including a stranger who calls her with an offering: “I have something new for you, something you’ll love,” she’s told.
Another scene sees Jane confronting her doppelgänger when she inexplicably appears in the diner she’s in. “Wait a second, who are you?” she demands. “I’m Jane, who are you?” her double retorts before the former Jane launches at the latter with a butter knife.
Amidst the bizarre encounters on the road, Jane – who “thinks about everybody else all the time” instead of herself – also finds the long overdue catharsis she’s been wanting. “That actually felt kinda good!” she says after screaming on a rooftop of a building.
“The Seven Faces of Jane” came from a game of exquisite corpse played by the directors. All eight started off with the initial premise of the narrative but enjoyed unrestricted creative liberty in the genre, tone, pace, and additional characters of the film. “They were encouraged to express their unique vision, creative spirit, and style as a director, and they worked without knowledge of what the others were doing,” a press release explains. “Each segment of Jane’s journey was then joined together to form one, full-length feature film.”
Jacobs last appeared on “Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker’s Dynasty,” the HBO drama about the LA basketball franchise in the ‘80s. A doc she directed, “More Than Robots,” premiered at this year’s edition of SXSW. It follows global teams of teenagers preparing for the 2020 First Robotics Competition.
Coppola’s last project was “Mainstream,” a social media satire that premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
Cassavetes is known for vampire romance “Kiss of the Damned,” which earned her the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Strasbourg Film Fest.
“The Seven Faces of Jane” hits theaters and VOD January 13.