Written by Alanna Francis, this is a film that has potential to save lives -- or at least, save some from years of trauma. Because while some viewers may experience first-time feature director Mary Nighy's quiet, lakeshore cabin film as a lulling, non-thrilling thriller, others may recognize their own relationship on the screen in Alice, Darling, and it could be a five-alarm wake-up call.
Kendrick has shared that she'd recently escaped a similar situation when she decided to star in and executive-produce this drama, and her lived experience fuels a believable performance. Alice is a woman in crisis who isn't fully aware of it. She knows that Simon, a successful artist, loves her, and she loves him. Yet she also knows that something isn't right -- and it's gnawing at her. He's not physically abusive, although he does get frustrated with her -- but that's normal, right? Yet Alice's every breath is full of nervous anxiety. And every time Simon's name is mentioned, Alice's friends exchange a "look." Nighy doesn't give viewers the full scope of Simon, just glimpses, leaving viewers to wonder whether Simon actually is a bad boyfriend. Like a lake, the evidence is murky, but, as the story gets closer to the surface, things become clearer. Older teens may have enough life experience to truly understand what's going on with Alice and tuck her into a pocket of their mind, where she can stay until or unless they find themselves or a friend in similar circumstances.