Outside In

Lynn Shelton wrote and directed two superior indie comedies, Humpday (2009) and Your Sister’s Sister (2011), but her career in features failed to ignite and she crept off into series television. Now she’s back with an engrossing drama about love and circumstance, and there isn’t a false note from start to finish. Jay Duplass, who cowrote the screenplay with Shelton, stars as a 40-year-old man who’s spent half his life in prison, taking a murder rap for his younger brother; paroled through the efforts of a criminal justice advocacy group, he returns home, tries to negotiate life as a convicted felon, and pursues an all-consuming love for the volunteer activist who stuck with him through the appeals process, played by Edie Falco at her most vulnerable. The woman is at least a decade older, with a teenage daughter and a troubled marriage, but she and the protagonist have shared something extraordinary—the only question is whether, in the long run, that will be enough.