Unsane – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writers: Jonathan Bernstein, Jam es Greer
Stars: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay P haroah
Apparently this movie was shot by Soderbergh in the space of two weeks entirely on an iPhone. That is in itself worthy of comment. The story line is that of an ordinary enough girl, Sawyer Valentin (Claire Foy), who becomes obsessed by the idea that she is being stalked. She takes classic steps to frustrate her stalker such as changing her address but she remains convinced that her stalker continues his pursuit. She fears for her own sanity and when she takes professional advice that is when her problems truly begin. Most of the film is shot in institutional buildings where the interiors are impermeable, hard surfaces that are easily wiped and glaring fluorescent lights. It creates an environment of unease.
Claire Foy as Sawyer Valentin manages to traverse two states of mind which are in contradiction with each other. The first is that she is sane and all those around her are not and the second is that she is going insane and the professionals around her are there to help her. Her mind set oscillates between the two and falters frequently at many points in between. Somehow by means of the direction and her own skill she manages to keep control of these conflicting forces. The supporting cast assist and indeed there is a memorable Nurse Boles (Polly McKie) who comes from the battle-axe school of nursing. The plot has some holes and there are certain scenes which stretch credulity to the limit but it manages to keep the viewer on edge.
It is the performance of Claire Foy which dominates and ensures that the entire keeps its pace. The fact that it was filmed on an iPhone makes it of itself a curiosity but maybe in a very short period of time that will not be unusual. Unsane may perhaps lead the way.