“The quality of one’s life depends on the quality of attention.”
— Deepak Chopra

In her seventh feature film, writer and director Kelly Reichardt focuses on two artists living in Portland who are both are putting finishing touches on their creations for exhibitions. Lizzy (Michelle Williams) is a gifted sculptor who makes ceramics in her home studio and works at an art studio. She is a loner who works without much feedback or praise. Her mother (Maryann Plunkett), who runs the art studio, praises her brother and thinks he is a genius. Her father (Judd Hirsch), a potter, comes to her exhibition but fails to get excited about her series of dancing women.

Michelle Williams as LIzzy and Hong Chau as Jo

Perhaps the most troublesome force in Lizzy’s anxious life is Jo (Hong Chau), her landlord and also an artist who seems to be a rising star on the arts scene. As both women prepare for possible career changing exhibitions, Jo irritates Lizzy by not taking care of her broken water heater. Then she interrupts Lizzy by asking her to look after an injured bird she has rescued.

Showing Up is an American drama written and directed by Kelly Reichardt: it is her fourth collaboration with actress Michelle Williams who plays Lizzy, a caring and committed artist. Her goal is to give her full attention to her small-scaled figurines. Lizzy’s focus on her art enables her to set aside the irritants, obstacles, and perplexities set on her path by her parents, Jo, and even her cat.

Showing Up is filled with stimulating and accessible ideas about creativity. Here are some of them:

  • Creativity often requires us to sit quietly and invent.
  • Being alone gives the creative person time and space to respond to her thoughts.
  • Discipline provides the fuel to stay the course.
  • Happiness is enhanced when we focus on own fulfilling our needs and obligations.
  • Spirituality allows us surrender to the whisperings of our inner being.