Monday, August 28, 2006

edinburgh film festival 8/24

Hutton, Denis O'Hare, Melissa Leo Hilary Brougher / USA / 2005 / 91 min 30 sec
Tilda Swinton, Amber Tamblyn, Timothy


Another triumph in the remarkable career of one of our favourite screen actors.

Winter in upstate New York, and 16-year-old Stephanie (Amber Tamblyn, from TV's Joan of Arcadia) stumbles through the snow during a school ski-club retreat, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Collapsing, she is rushed to hospital, where it is discovered she has just given birth - only to be subsequently charged with murdering her newborn child. This ripped-from-the-headlines premise stars EIFF favourite Tilda Swinton, superb as a forensic psychologist - herself recovering from a recent stillbirth - determined to uncover the truth about Stephanie's actions. With its treatment of such hot-button issues as teen sex-education, and the separation of Church and State, this could easily have become an 'issues' picture; instead, it's a subtle, complex film, one which moves effortlessly between social melodrama and scenes of clinical, almost Cronenberg-like horror. Quite an achievement; quite a film.

No comments: