"Em" is a subtle, honest and beautiful meditation on what it is like to love someone who is mentally ill. This is not your "look at my Oscar moment" type of mental illness but rather something that is deeply truthful. There is not one manipulative or false moment in this movie which is saying a lot given the subject matter. Everything about this film operates on a visual level and the acting is no exception. The two leads are unbelievable at using subtle facial expressions to convey pivotal character beats. These types of subtle performances can be easily overlooked but this is behavioral acting at its best! Almost immediately you can see the planning and artistry that went into this film. From each shot which is meticulously framed and lit to the color progression, right down to the effectively minimal score which is carefully placed. There is an incredible attention to detail in every aspect of this film. However, this is not a film for everyone as it assumes patience and sophistication on the part of the audience. Nothing is obvious or spelled out in fact we don't even know the two main characters names until about 20 minutes into the film.
From frame one this film sets its own rules and strictly follows them making "Em" a unique and cohesive work of art!