Anne at 13,000 Ft
Starring Deragh Campbell. Directed by Kazik Radwanski. Streaming at the Cinematheque from Friday (March 5) to April 1
If the Dardenne brothers remade A Woman Under The Influence, it might look a lot like Radwanski’s latest study of a Torontonian in a slow-motion crisis. This time, his protagonist is a young daycare worker whose equilibrium is slipping from her grasp. Her name is Anne, and we’re trapped with her as she spirals through a couple of very bad weeks, self-medicating with alcohol and refusing offers of help from friends, parents, and lovers.
Anne is played by the remarkable Deragh Campbell (O, Brazen Age, Never Eat Alone, Fail To Appear), who is utterly, completely present in every moment. Radwanski’s close-up strategy means Nikolay Michaylov’s camera is trained almost constantly on her face, capturing every nervous laugh, every flash of panic, every frantic attempt to turn a blurted cry for help into a joke.
The movie around her is just as electrifying, steadily building in intensity and empathy until we know precisely how Anne feels—and it’s almost unbearable. Which is the point, of course.