Saturday 16 December 2023

Movie Review: Alice, Darling (2022)

Genre: Drama
Director: Mary Nighy
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Wunmi Mosaku, Kaniehtiio Horn, Charlie Carrick
Running Time: 89 minutes

Synopsis: Alice (Anna Kendrick) is trapped in a relationship with artist Simon (Charlie Carrick), who psychologically controls her life. She agrees to join her friends Sophie (Wunmi Mosaku) and Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn) for a weeklong lakeside cottage getaway, but lies to Simon that she's on a business trip. With the community around the cottage desperately searching for a disappeared young teen, Alice finds it difficult to unwind and clashes repeatedly with Tess. Her emotions are further stressed when Simon starts pressuring her to return to him.

What Works Well: Anna Kendrick's anguished hair-pulling, disordered eating nervousness conveys a life disintegrating under the weight of psychological abuse and domination. 

What Does Not Work As Well: Once at the cottage, the drama drifts sideways, the disharmony between Alice and Tess hinting at another unspoken conflict and distracting from the central theme. The pacing is laborious, director Mary Nighy unable to evolve the characters and delivering a movie that feels painfully longer than 89 minutes. Both the disappeared teenager sub-plot and the bursts of sexual frustration are of questionable relevance, and the final transformation is contextually sudden and less than convincing.

Conclusion: A dark emotional mood is immobilized by opaque expression.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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