Mary Louise Wilson teaches the craft of acting in She's the Best Thing In It. (Dallas International Film Festival)

Mary Louise Wilson teaches the craft of acting in She's the Best Thing In It. (Dallas International Film Festival)

12:15 p.m. Sun., Angelika Dallas

There are many pleasures to be had watching this documentary about Mary Louise Wilson, a Broadway veteran who returns to her native New Orleans to teach her fist acting class at Tulane at the age of 79.

Wilson is disarmingly candid about her life, her career (she's not a big fan of TV and movie work) and her homecoming. The classroom scenes bristle with energy. But above all, She's the Best Thing In It gets you thinking deeply about the craft of acting, particularly the emotional reservoirs that must be tapped for a performance to soar.

This is Wilson's primary message to her students: Make it real. Stop thinking and start feeling. It's more complicated than that, of course; if it weren't there would be more great actors. But there's something thrilling about watching the student start to get it, and about considering what our favorite actors are actually up to. 

The Dallas International Film Festival runs April 9-22 at multiple venues (most screenings at the Angelika Dallas, 5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230, in Mockingbird Station). For information on schedule, tickets and passes visit dallasfilm.org.   

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