Excitement Grows for Kristen Wiig’s Fake Critical Darling, ‘AbracaDeborah’


The Sundance Film Festival is often laden and besotted with subtle character dramedies that follow vaguely depressed people down the path towards further depression and, perhaps ultimately, self-acceptance. And the exceedingly talented Kristen Wiig has, in the past few years, been in a number of middle-of-the-road films that could be characterized as such — Hateship/Loveship, The Skeleton Twins, and Welcome to Me.

The newest recipient of all the coveted Sundance buzz is yet another Wiig film, AbracaDeborah, which, in title alone, might sound like a similar film. Its description confirms this notion: it sees a certain depressed Deborah’s divorced, non-magical existence altered forever in a fateful moment at a county fair, and, according to The Film Stage, sees Wiig “navigate [the film’s] tonal shift surprisingly well.”

…except that the tonal shift doesn’t exist. Nor does Deborah’s sad, magical life. Nor does the film. As IndieWire’s Sam Adams — the first to bring AbracaDeborah to the non-Tweeting public — explains, Deborah is the result of various Sundance attendee-critics’ (including Flavorwire’s own Jason Bailey) elaborate, prolonged inside — then outside, when Wiig fans got ahold of the news on Twitter — joke.

Adams notes that Uproxx writer Mike Ryan started it with this simple trolling Tweet:

But by yesterday, that Tweet had sparked a line of questioning across social media that led to this:

And since Sundance Film Festival will be over this weekend, it looks like the “film” will naturally start doing the whole festival circuit:

After various people subtweeted the assorted critics behind the joke and ultimately realized it was a hoax — especially once the IndieWire article was published — some people criticized the Abracadeborah phenomenon for being cruelly deceptive:

Though the “film” itself was mostly well-received:

There was, however, that one cringe-worthy element:

Finally, interest was even piqued abroad: