Nancy

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film -

★★★☆☆

Dir

Christina Choe An­drea Rise­bor­ough, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd

Star­ring Length

84 mins

Cert

12A There are good per­for­mances and in­ter­est­ing, though un­de­vel­oped, nar­ra­tive ideas in this de­but fea­ture by the writer-direc­tor Christina Choe.

J Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi play Leo and Ellen, a care­worn mid­dle-aged cou­ple whose in­fant daugh­ter dis­ap­peared 30 years ago and has never been found. Sud­denly, a thir­tysome­thing woman, Nancy (An­drea Rise­bor­ough), makes con­tact. She has an eerie sim­i­lar­ity to the po­lice’s com­puter sim­u­la­tion of how the miss­ing girl would look now, and she has a plau­si­ble story about how her late mother eva­sively told her she was adopted. Could it be that lone­li­ness and emo­tional dam­age on both sides is draw­ing them to­gether?

A few decades ago, the sus­pense­ful am­bi­gu­i­ties of this premise could have been teased out al­most in­def­i­nitely. Nowa­days, the re­al­ity of DNA iden­ti­fi­ca­tion has changed the game. And so, the po­lice of­fi­cer shows up with the ge­netic test­ing kit and tells them the re­sults will be ready in a few days

– so this is the life­span of what­ever drama can be con­jured.

Rise­bor­ough, Cameron and Buscemi are all good in their dif­fi­cult roles. Other third-act twists and turns could have been ex­plored, but per­haps Choe felt that such in­ven­tions would take her fea­ture into Hitch­cock ter­ri­tory and away from the more down­beat and re­al­is­tic mode she started with.

An in­ter­est­ing and worth­while drama none­the­less. PB

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