It’s a clear sign of writer-director Sarah Polley’s skill and awareness that her beautiful, hard-hitting and verbose piece about processing sexual assault isn’t wall-to-wall misery. Yes, the debate this community of Mennonite women are having is important and will change their lives forever no matter the outcome, but they are people who laugh, cry, comfort and clash with each other, resulting in many a dramatic peak and trough in their discussions. Thankfully we never see the crimes themselves, only the traumatising aftermath and so the film is intense rather than explicit, more thought-provoking than shocking. What is shocking is another great woman filmmaker not being recognised with a Best Director nomination. The ensemble, particularly Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley and Judith Ivey, is sublime, and the striking way the whole thing looks and sounds in the hands of cinematographer Luc Montpellier and composer Hildur Guonadóttir really lodges in the memory. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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