Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
Circa 1969, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.
Five years after her husband and daughter are killed in a senseless act of violence, a woman comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free.
John Gallagher Jr.,
Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed single mother who runs a blog with crafts and recipes. Emily (Blake Lively) is a busy working mother, a PR director for a fashion company, whose son Nicky attends the same elementary school as Stephanie's son, Miles. Emily and Stephanie become fast friends, arranging play dates for the boys. They trade confessions, and Stephanie admits that as a teenager, she had sex with her half-brother, Chris. Emily expresses her frustration at the lack of success of her husband, English professor Sean Townsend, and their poor financial situation. Emily has a work crisis and asks Stephanie to babysit Nicky, as Sean is in London. After two days of Emily not responding to calls, Stephanie calls Emily's employer, Dennis Nylon, and he tells her she is in Miami. Stephanie calls Sean, who calls the police. Emily had told both Stephanie and Sean that she hates having her picture taken, leading Stephanie to sneak into Emily's work and find a photo, which she ...
Jessie Henderson enjoyed all the dimensions that Anna Kendrick brought to the character of Stephanie. "She has all these amazing micro-expressions that can say so much. She's so warm that you gravitate towards her, but she carefully reveals Stephanie's inner cracks in a way that is at once nuanced and thrilling." See more »
When Emily and Stephanie meet for the first time in Emily's house, as Emily removes the fabric cuffs from her wrists, she removes the cuff on her right wrist twice. See more »
You don't want to be unable to be in Nicky's life
[snaps a pistol on her]
Well You certainly won't be
See more »
I wasn't initially going to see this. I'd been let down by similar neonoir mystery dramas before. (Felt Gone Girl was just okay and Girl on a Train was disappointing.) Then I heard the positive reviews and changed my mind. I'm glad I did.
Director Paul Feig took the story from what appears to be a more serious book with very mixed reviews on Amazon and added humor and a bit of fun to the proceedings. The dark parts are appropriately lurid, but this isn't a dire slog. Witty dialogue and a game cast alleviate the proceedings.
Although Blake Lively does a great job as the mysterious woman who goes missing (and hats off to whoever designed her clothes, they are fantastic), this is Anna Kendricks' film. As the slightly oddball, mommy vlogger Stephanie Smothers, Kendricks has the part nailed down a both physically and verbally as she quirkily deals with people.
There are a couple flaws. The switch between drama and humor is a little jarring a in a few spots. The second act drags a little, and a few character decisions in the third act were rushed a bit.
Overall, I'd recommend this.
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