Cert: 15A. Selected cinemas
With a troubled inception and delayed release, Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret (2011) was a multi-coloured character portrait that was well worth the wait. Comparisons are being drawn with this perceptive study of an untethered millennial sleepwalking through life until she is shaken out of inertia.
In such fare, a teak-strength central performance is required to anchor everything. Enter Emily Beecham, a somewhat familiar face from roles in Hail, Caesar! and 28 Weeks Later who, if there is any justice in the world, will springboard to bigger things on the back of this Edinburgh Film Festival winner.
Daphne works in a hipster London restaurant with willthey-won’t-they boss Joe (Tom Vaughan-lawlor). Outside of this, she faffs about from pub to nightclub to bedroom, boozing and snorting and cavorting without any larger meaning to her 31-year existence. When she is present at a convenience store stabbing incident, the trauma of it starts to worm its way into her carefree existence, forcing her to examine certain things.
Beecham and writer Nico Mensinga have crafted a marvellous character in Daphne, fully relatable in her banality and cynicism, yet elusively fascinating to watch as she negotiates her rudderless London odyssey.
There is lots of sharp humour in Peter Mackie Burns’s film but also a low-level ache that swells in volume with masterful subtlety.