2hrs 2mins

In her directorial debut, Maggie Gyllenhaall adapts Elana Ferrante’s novel of the same name, presenting a psychological drama that deftly twists around memory and maternity.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

Starring Olivia Coleman (The Favourite, Tyrannosaur) as Leda, an English teacher on holiday in Greece whose attention is suddenly drawn into an increasingly consuming obsession with a younger mother, Nina, played by Dakota Johnson (Suspiria, The Peanut Butter Falcon).

What begins as a period of calm and rejuvenating self-exploration for Leda soon spirals into a fragmented confrontation with a repressed and unresolved past.

Difficult questions around motherhood splinter into the present through events and encounters that, at first, seem incidental but ultimately end up seeding the film with its tense and psychological mystery.

Gyllenhaal elicits captivating performances from an excellent cast, including the feature film debut of Paul Mescal (who you might know from the success of 2020’s TV adaptation of Normal People), alongside Ed Harris (The Truman Show, A History of Violence, Snowpiercer), and the versatile talent of Jessie Buckley (Beast, Wild Rose, I’m Thinking of Ending Things).

This is a really exciting directorial debut, seething with subtext and carried by memorably strong performances.

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