(director: Mary Nighy; screenwriter: Alanna Francis; cinematographer: Mike McLaughlin; editor: Gareth C. Scales; music: Owen Pallett; cast:  Anna Kendrick (Alice), Charlie Carrick  (Simon), Kaniehtiio Horn (Tess), Wunmi Mosaku (Sophie); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Katie Bird Nolan, Lindsay Tapscott, Christina Piovesan, Noah Segal; Lionsgate; 2022-Canada)

An intense feminist drama on an abusive relationship.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An intense feminist drama on an abusive relationship. The horrors of a bad relationship from a woman’s POV are fully captured in this debut feature as a director by the former Canadian actress Mary Nighy (daughter of Bill). It’s written by Alanna Francis.

It opens with the young woman Alice (Anna Kendrick) going to dinner with her two best friends, Sophie (Wunmi Mosaku) and Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn). Her handsome but obnoxious and possessive artist boyfriend Simon (Charlie Carrick) annoyingly keeps texting her while she’s dining with her three friends at the restaurant. The girlfriends invite Alice to go with them on a week-long trip to Sophie’s out of town lake cottage for a birthday celebration, that’s just for the three of them as a girl’s thing. She agrees, telling Simon it’s a work trip.

When told this at their house, Simon almost loses it. While she has an anxiety attack, pulling out her hair when unable to face herself as she becomes testy and confrontational. Every thing about her reaction to the situation seems real. The actress has said she was previously in such an emotionally draining relationship, and brings that experience to the role.

It’s a well-acted and chilling film, that makes the viewer relate to her situation. It shows how getting free of him during the trip gives her a chance to see if she really wants him around any more.

It played at the Toronto Film Festival.