LUCKY BASTARD is the story of a successful pornography website that invites fans to have sex with porn stars. Produced by newly formed Vineyard Haven Films, the movie crosses many genres—drama, comedy, suspense thriller—without entirely belonging to any of them, and implicitly comments on a society in which pornography is not only a common part of modern life but also a mirror reflecting the nature of intimacy in an atomized world. The movie also reshapes in unpredictable ways the recent cinematic convention of “found footage.”
The cast of LUCKY BASTARD includes veteran performers known for their work in movies, television and theatre, including Jay Paulson, familiar to audiences as Don Draper’s brother, Adam Whitman, in Mad Men, and Don McManus, who this year also stars in the forthcoming Grand Piano, with John Cusack and Elijah Wood, and The Congress, with Paul Giamatti, Robin Wright and Frances Fisher.
The director and co-writer of LUCKY BASTARD is veteran television writer-producer Robert Nathan, best known for his Emmy-nominated work on Law & Order, and who is also an award-winning novelist and journalist.
LUCKY BASTARD’s graphic nature, sexual situations, violence and uncensored language place it firmly in the realm of American independent cinema, with an angle on life distinctly outside that of traditional Hollywood mainstream films. The film is set in a world ostensibly considered contemptible, but depicts it in ways that we don’t expect. For the characters of LUCKY BASTARD, pornography is simply an industry like any other, with regular working people going to work every day and earning a living.
The story centers on Mike (McManus), who runs the LUCKY BASTARD website; Dave (Paulson), a young fan given a chance to have sex with a porn actress; and Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue), the porn star who reluctantly agrees to participate in the website’s “have sex with a porn star” contest. In the end, everyone gets more than they bargained for when the seemingly mild-mannered Dave is irrevocably transformed by his experience.
LUCKY BASTARD is a mix of themes that epitomize independent filmmaking. Going behind the scenes of one of our largest entertainment industries, the film offers a reflective take on the deepest currents in our society: its preoccupation with sexual desire, the commoditization of sexuality, and humiliation as a product of commerce.
LUCKY BASTARD is rated NC-17 by the MPAA for explicit sexual content.