The Adults

A brief trip back home turns into a longer stay when Eric finds himself caught between catching up with his two sisters and conquering his old poker group. The more Eric extends his visit to prove that he is still the best poker player in town, the harder it becomes to steer clear of the old fault lines in his relationship with his sister Rachel. As their little sister Maggie attempts to recreate the intimate world they once shared, Eric and Rachel are faced with the divide between their childhood selves and the adults they have now become.
Displaying all the sensitivity and wicked humour of his previous works, Dustin Guy Defa’s new film is a shrewd study of the pitiless condition known as adulthood. After growing up in a family unit that constitutes your whole world, with its particular set of habits and a shared language, crossing the border into the realm of adults can feel disempowering, even terrifying. A sense of loss may be difficult to ever really overcome. The film’s meticulous structure and novelistic depth lay bare this fundamental fear, but also the resources that exist to fight it. Setting about this treasure hunt deep within as individuals and as a family is an admirable trio of actors whose interpretation is as nuanced as it is poignant.
by Dustin Guy Defa
with Michael Cera, Hannah Gross, Sophia Lillis, Wavyy Jonez, Anoop Desai, Kyra Tantao, Kiah McKirnan, Simon Kim, Lucas Papaelias, Tina Benko
USA 2023 English 91’ Colour World premiere


  • Michael Cera (Eric)
  • Hannah Gross (Rachel)
  • Sophia Lillis (Maggie)
  • Wavyy Jonez (Dennis)
  • Anoop Desai (Josh)
  • Kyra Tantao (Megan)
  • Kiah McKirnan (Amanda)
  • Simon Kim (Greg)
  • Lucas Papaelias (Bobby)
  • Tina Benko (Christina)


Director Dustin Guy Defa
Screenplay Dustin Guy Defa
Cinematography Tim Curtin
Editing Michael Taylor
Music Alex Weston
Sound Design Gaelan Mullins
Sound Heather Monetti
Production Design Caity Birmingham
Costumes Lizzie Donelan
Make-Up Camille M. Harris
Casting Jessica Kelly
Assistant Director Andrew Harrington
Production Manager Julia Thompson
Producers Michael Cera, Hannah Dweck, Ted Schaefer, Allison Rose Carter, Jon Read, Julia Thompson
Executive Producers Paul Aanonsen, Susan Dweck, Susan Freed, Louie Dweck, Ralph Dweck

Dustin Guy Defa

His films have screened at dozens of festivals, including Sundance, Venice and Locarno, and have won awards at the Berlinale, SXSW and HotDocs, among others. In 2017, he was honoured with the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award. In the same year, his feature film Person to Person, starring Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson, was released by Magnolia Pictures. He is the co-writer of The Mountain, starring Tye Sheridan and Jeff Goldblum, which premiered in competition at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.


2011 Family Nightmare; short film 2012 Bad Fever 2013 Declaration of War; short film · Lydia Hoffman Lydia Hofman; short film 2014 Person to Person; short film 2015 God Is an Artist; short film · Review; short film 2016 Dramatic Relationships; short film 2017 Person to Person 2021 Editing; short film 2023 The Adults

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023