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The Falling (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 24 April 2015 (UK)
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1:45 | Trailer
It's 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Director:

Carol Morley

Writer:

Carol Morley
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Popularity
2,081 ( 894)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxine Peake ... Eileen Lamont
Maisie Williams ... Lydia Lamont
Florence Pugh ... Abbie Mortimer
Anna Burnett ... Susan
Greta Scacchi ... Miss Edith Mantel
Hannah Rose Caton ... Titch (as Rose Caton)
Lauren McCrostie ... Gwen
Katie Ann Knight Katie Ann Knight ... Connie
Evie Hooton Evie Hooton ... Janet
Monica Dolan ... Miss Martha Alvaro
Mathew Baynton ... Mr Hopkins
Morfydd Clark ... Miss Pamela Charron
Joe Cole ... Kenneth Lamont
Elizabeth Marsh Elizabeth Marsh ... Miss Fanshawe
Hannah Stokely Hannah Stokely ... Miss Ash
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Storyline

It's 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Falling See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP750,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$569,498
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Similar to a contemporary documentary called "The town that caught Tourette's". See more »

Quotes

Lydia Lamont: I resent this idea that we're just emotional. This is real.
Psychiatrist: It's real, it has consequences, yes. What's important here is that it's real to you.
Lydia Lamont: Real to me, what does that mean? It's real to all of us. Something's seriously wrong. Why is everyone ignoring us?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening titles, and the film's title is only shown at the end. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode #44.3 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Voyage of the Moon
Written by Donovan (as Donovan Leitch)
Performed by Mary Hopkin
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User Reviews

 
A clunky mystery with few noteworthy aspects.
17 October 2014 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

One of the London Film Festival's handful of world premieres, The Falling had naturally generated buzz as it's a film funded by the BFI, which is quite unusual for them. Unfortunately, while it has its merits, it doesn't quite live up to expectation as a whole. That said, the limited budget is impressively spread out with a solid cast including Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams and convincing 1960s production and costume design. The creativity of director/writer Carol Morley is less striking. It's a film interested in starting a lot of tangents without finishing them, or instead giving us underwhelming payoffs. It's built on the backbone of an odd mystery, one it's uninterested in resolving, but interested in escalating.

Set in a 1969 girls school, when the promiscuous student Abbie, played by Florence Pugh, accidentally gets pregnant, she begins to suffer from fits of fainting seemingly at random. Her best friend Lydia, played by Williams, deals with the consequences after the epidemic spreads across the school with girls fainting out of control. The film appears to be a story about the friendship between Lydia and Abbie, but it fractures off into different directions, some more engaging than others. Most dramatically is exploration into Lydia's past, or rather, how she came into this world. Her relationship with her agoraphobic mother, played by Maxine Peake, is a key aspect of the film and one of the few things that eventually pay off in a satisfying way, if a disturbing one. It needed some more development beforehand to feel fully fleshed out, but the delivery of it in the third act is the film's greatest strength.

While kept deliberately ambiguous, it appears that the fainting is somewhat of a punishment for early sexual behaviour (which incidentally appears to mostly be instigated by Lydia's brother, played by Joe Cole). There's no charm in its apparent disdain and shaming for the young girls' urges and it doesn't feel like a thought thoroughly argued through enough. It's most interesting for the way the authority figures react, which is in complete denial that anything is wrong, even when Lydia is on her knees in the hallway. Even so, characters don't react the way people would react to others fainting, though perhaps it's supposed to hint about how it's become so tiresome. It contributes to the uneasy atmosphere of the film with its dreamlike eeriness.

It is quite rewarding to see Maisie Williams in this type of environment for a change. It's clear that she's making the most of it and trying her best to feel natural, but she doesn't quite have the conviction to make it work just yet. In time she'll be a great actress. It just feels as though Morley has misjudged what the film was trying to do for the most part, thematically and tonally. It does have some good aspects and interesting tidbits, existentialism that's valid if unremarkable, but as a whole it brings nothing new stylistically to the table and is often too uninspired in execution. It has a bizarre sense of humour that doesn't quite gel with its thoughtfulness and mystery. Solid production for the budget, interesting and engaging moments here and there, but The Falling is misguided from the script's initial intentions direction.

6/10

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