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Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh plunges audiences into the suspense and drama of a resilient woman's fight to reclaim her freedom even as she risks her own sanity. Still scarred from the trauma of being terrorized by a stalker, Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy, The Crown) receives treatments at the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. However, shortly after she unwittingly commits herself to the mental institution and is unable to leave, she catches sight of a facility staffer who, she is convinced, is actually her stalker. But is he real or a product of her delusion?
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2. Stupidly highly improbable to the nth degree storyline of someone who has a bit of boyfriend stalking paranoia and schedules a half hour office visit w/an analyst. She displays no out-of-the-ordinary symptoms, but gets asked the inevitable "Have you ever thought about killing yourself?" which was answered in the normal customary vague way, on a level with, "Well, after I nearly failed my history exam?" From there she is immediately placed into a psychiatric hospital where eventually we find it's a bit too profit oriented to the detriment of the patients.
3. The inevitable lots of plot mistakes to fill the 90 minute requirement.
4. Acting, dialogue seemed high school drama class level artificial & forced.
5. A candidate for ff unless you have nothing going on in life.
We get to meet Claire Foy's character, a supremely irritating lady whom we still feel some sympathy for because she has been the victim of a stalker in the past. In fact, she moved to a whole new city to get away from this guy. So perhaps we can forgive her for being a bit brittle and touchy. When she seeks out psychiatric help, she inadvertently signs herself into the inpatient unit at the psych hospital. And despite her protestations that "there's been a horrible misunderstanding" she is sucked into the life and routine of this squalid little place. And she begins to see an employee of the hospital that she believes is her stalker. But, of course, no one else believes her. Is she nuts or is this guy really hiding in plain site?
Director Steven Soderbergh is no slouch, and he creates numerous tense scenes, whether quite but urgent conversations between Foy and other characters or moments of quick, bloody action. He uses his iphone to slip into places and give us angles that would be tougher with a different camera (although I'm not 100% sure being able to look up the nose of an actress is particularly helpful).
The problem is with the script. In order for the plot pieces to progress as they do, Foy's character has to do and say some REALLY dumb things. This character apparently has a poor instinct for what to say when, or when to lose her temper. She is really her own worst enemy in this movie, and at times, her actions were eye-rollingly bad. Her character isn't some "teen slasher victim #5"...she's supposed to be smart, savvy business professional. So in the end, despite her physical commitment to the role, I just didn't buy Foy's character. Not sure ANY actress could have made this a believable person, though.
Therefore, the film gets just 3 stars. I think it's worth seeing, but you aren't missing a classic if you decide to give it a miss.