Sawyer Valentini is a troubled woman who moves away from home to escape a stalker. Sawyer finds she is still triggered by interactions with men as a result of her experiences. She makes an appointment with a counselor at Highland Creek Behavioral Center. At her appointment, she unknowingly signs a release voluntarily committing herself to a 24-hour stay. She calls the police but they do nothing when they see the signed release. After physical altercations with a patient and a staff member, Dr. Hawthorne says she is being kept for seven more days. Another patient, Nate Hoffman, gives Sawyer an introduction to the place. Highland Creek is running a scheme to milk health insurance claims for profit. They trick people into voluntarily committing themselves as long as the patients' insurance companies continue to pay; when insurance claims run out, the patient is "cured". One day, Sawyer sees David Strine, her stalker, working as an orderly under the assumed name George Shaw. She has an ...
The budget was only $1.2 million according to "The Times". See more »
Men and women do not share sleeping quarters in mental institutions and/or hospitals. The genders are segregated. See more »
I love it when you wear blue. I mean, I love you in anything. But you wore blue that first time I saw you, so anytime I see you in blue, it reminds me of how I felt at that moment. How I never really knew what being alive was until I saw you. You unlocked something inside me that day, something I didn't even realize was there. And right then, I knew that nothing in my life was ever going to be the same. In that moment, I was transformed permanently. You did that.
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Soderbergh's latest reminded me of a David Cronenberg film. Not the gory makeup or intensely cartoonish violence of Cronenberg, but the quiet dis-ease, black humor and slight otherworldliness (ie The Brood, Scanners). And while unsettling paranoia and tonal consistencies abound in Unsane with impeccable filmmaking achievement, the dramatic entertainment and thematic potency are wanting.
Claire Foy plays a disturbed young woman involuntarily admitted to a mental institution. Throughout the film, she is convinced an evil entity (or entities) is trying to ruin her life. The hook is whether or not her worries are legitimate or simply obsessive delusions. This is all done with lots of odd but undeniably unnerving style. The cinematography is adventurous, the editing kinetic, and the music straddles the line between modern and retro like a hipster version of a cop drama score.
Rarely have I been less sure of how to feel about a protagonist (is she insane? Enslaved? Victimized?), and still Soderbergh's steady control creates striking empathy and understanding for both her and the people in her world. The tension starts high, but unfortunately as the story unfolds, the intrigue disintegrates even as the action ramps up and each mystery is revealed or not revealed, and we eventually leave in a pessimistic haze.
A film this bleak, opaque and deliberate only works as well as its ultimate point. Maybe I'm not smart enough to understand it, but Unsane doesn't seem to have a compelling one. Sure, there are things being said, but each one seems either much too obvious or just plain wrong. What we're left with is a laborious, hopeless and strange outing that's as noble as it is disappointing.
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