(director: Zachary Wigon; screenwriter: Micah Bloomberg; cinematographer: Ludovica Isidori; editors: Kate Brokaw, Lance Edmands; music: Ariel Marx; cast: Margaret Qualley (Rebecca), Christopher Abbott (Hal); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Pavel Burian, David Lancaster, Ilya Stewart, Stephanie Wilcox; Rumble Films; 2022)
“Offbeat, fascinating but uneven love story.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Zachary Wigon (“The Heart Machine”) directs this offbeat, fascinating but uneven love story that’s written by Micah Bloomberg.
Rebecca (Margaret Qualley) is a dominatrix, whose longtime client is the wealthy industrialist Hal (Christopher Abbott), a heir to a big company and its future CEO. Both are driven by power and manipulation, with her in the domineering power role. When trying to quit the relationship with an expensive gift, she refuses to end it. What follows is a hyper night at a luxury hotel that’s filled with wild game playing.
Hal is insecure, manipulative and suffering from daddy issues. The power he wields over her is his money. The story goes south after she blackmails him as their games turn into a crime. The filmmaker tries telling the story as a lesson on how capitalism works, after it starts out as a possible feminist tale on a woman surviving in a patriarchal society.
The actors in the two-character film are both terrific and overcome many of the faults of the slight film.
It played at the Toronto Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 2/12/2023 GRADE: B