Best of 2023: Talia Ryder on The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed

The breakthrough star of the Cannes hit The Sweet East, now in theaters, on a standout from the past cinematic year.

It’s not from this year, but I recently watched the Martin Scorsese segment of New York Stories, “Life Lessons,” for the first time. I’ve become absolutely obsessed with it and have watched it so many times. To me, it’s the perfect movie and I haven’t felt so excited watching something in such a long time. I love every part of the story and when it ends, I just want to start it over again. It feels like one of those movies that you can just watch in a circle, because it kind of ends in the same place that it begins. I love the music and the apartment and the performances. Nick Nolte is just so amazing in it. He plays a painter, and his painting seems so therapeutic and exciting. His character is a handful and kind of a miserable guy, but beautiful.

Seeing something I love makes me excited to make movies. Watching “Life Lessons” made me want to get back on set and dive into the worlds of these two imaginary people and figure out everything about them and explore their stories and their worlds and give them love. That’s what’s so fun about acting: just falling in love with the person you’re playing and really fleshing out their world.

In terms of films from this year, when I was in Cannes with my new movie, The Sweet East, I also saw The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed by the New York filmmaker Joanna Arnow, which was really exciting to me. I went to Cannes thinking I was going to see lots of movies, but then it was really, really difficult to see anything there. Luckily, one of the producers of The Sweet East, Alex Coco, offered me some extra tickets for Joanna’s movie. I hadn’t seen any of her other work before, so I kind of went into the film blind and had no idea what it was about.

The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed is primarily a movie about sex and relationships; it was a bit weird to watch it with my mom, who was with me in Cannes, but it was still really cool. Joanna Arnow plays the protagonist and it was interesting to see a character who a lot of the other people in the film seem to have pity for and worry about, when actually she’s completely secure, living her truth and choosing how she wants to live her life. I felt like her character’s goal is to have complete agency over herself and her actions, and other people in the film – and audience members – really judge the way she’s choosing to live. But at the end of the day, that’s her choice.

After seeing The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed, I went back and watched all of Joanna Arnow’s previous films, out of curiosity, and followed her on social media. When there’s a director making stuff right now that I am a fan of, I’ll follow them on Instagram so I can keep up with their stuff and see what they’re doing. I would definitely love to work with Joanna Arnow if there’s ever something she writes that I would be a good fit for.

Talia Ryder is currently starring opposite Jacob Elordi, Ayo Adebiri, Simon Rex and Jeremy O. Harris in Sean Price Williams’s directorial debut, The Sweet East, which premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. One of Sundance 2020’s break-out stars, she was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award and a Critics’ Choice Award as the co-lead of Eliza Hittman’s critically acclaimed Never Rarely Sometimes Always. She was recently seen in Dumb Money, opposite Seth Rogen, Paul Dano, Sebastian Stan and Shailene Woodley. Her other film credits include Do Revenge with Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated West Side Story, and Mariama Diallo’s thriller Master, opposite Regina Hall, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022.