John Leguizamo and Andrea Riseborough also appeared together in Waco (2018) See more »
Unconditionally loved it
The beginning of the movie was absorbingly unhurried, drawing you into the claustrophobic confines of antiheroine Nancy's (Andrea Riseborough) white bread world.
We witness her dysfunctional co-dependency with undemonstrative mother Betty (Ann Dowd, even dourer than in Handmaid). A poor excuse for a parent, she is the antonym of empowering of her offspring, discouraging downtrodden Nancy from trying, convinced she'll never succeed.
Riseborough impressively blends vulnerability and an innate dishonesty as this lost child-woman floundering on the outskirts of society cooking up interesting life experiences to swap like recipes in work lunch breaks, in an effort to convince everybody else that she's just like them.
When she wishful thinks herself the child kidnapped from dream parents Ellen (J. Smith-Cameron) and (Steve Buscemi) as a five-year-old, you cross your fingers and pray she's finally found where she belongs.
Ellen for me was the revelation in the piece, a picture of heartbreaking hope and desperate desire that this pretender's story prove true. The bond they forge is beautiful and visibly enriches them both. Smith-Cameron's face, betraying all her emotions, and her developing unconditional love for this would-be daughter reduce me to tears. Paul Raeburn's music helps to destroy me.
The film is full of ambiguities that intrigue rather than frustrate. Not much happens, in fact but we're allowed to watch a family drama play out and a soul adrift's quest for a safe mooring.
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