Madeline (newcomer Helena Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives.
Writer/director Josephine Decker has long been an independent filmmaker to admire, utilizing a welcome expressionistic approach that imbues her subjects with a vibrant sense of urgency. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from newcomer Helena Howard, whose powerful screen presence commands attention, Decker’s film displays a rare sensitivity for capturing the messy struggles of discovering a sense of one’s self that defies easy narrative categorization.
"Big, brash and brilliant lead performance by newcomer Helena Howard."
"Thrilling…fresh and invigorating…this film finds new ways of exploring female desires and insecurities by detaching itself from linear storytelling and easy rationales."
"Experimental psychodrama [that] dives deep….Director Josephine Decker touches on universal truths rarely found inside a multiplex."