Much like Martha Marcy May Marlene, the reason to see this film is the lead, Swinton, not the story. The movie itself tackles a really interesting point of view, but ultimately left me unsatisfied.
No matter what you’ve heard about this film, it is not in the thriller, mystery, or a suspense genres. It is a slice of life. The facts are rapidly revealed or obvious. But the ending is worse than open-ended, it feels like it is utterly false. Perhaps I’m simply fighting the hope of the screenwriter and the director based on what I know to be the likely realities of the characters involved. There was not going to be a simple answer, which is fine, but I needed (potentially) change and acknowledgment of the truth. But without a resolution this can be no more than a window into a period of time for our main character.
In addition to Swinton’s effort, the child actors they got were very effective. I actually wish Reilly had been a bit more present in the story, but it isn’t his story to tell, so the gap made a certain amount of sense. But given what I saw in Carnage, it would have been great to see what he’d do with this given a bit more screen time.
Oddly, this is third film this week (and more than that in the last couple months) that faded to white at the end rather than to a black screen. This would appear to be a new trend for film-makers, though I’ve only seen it used meaningfully in a couple of the cases. For this story, it seemed rather pointless to me.