AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2011
By Don Simpson | October 22, 2011
Director: Lesley Manning
Writer: Lesley Manning
Starring: Chloë Annett, Lee Boardman, Dorothy Duffy, Orlando Seale
Leila (Chloë Annett) and Paul (Lee Boardman) have developed some serious trust and jealousy issues over the course of their marriage. For the first act of this dire tale of festering emotions, they seem to try to hold themselves together for the sake of their two children; but as Paul grows increasingly suspicious that Leila is cheating on him, Leila attempts to explain to him that it is all in his head.
The situation really spirals out of control as various items around the house begin to go missing, and for whatever reason Paul gets blamed. Clandestine text messages on cellphones and the appearance of a new video camera might become clues to unravel the mystery of who in this relationship is battier…or maybe they are just red herrings?
But then the question of whether Leila and/or Paul are justified in their suspicions seems to be dropped in the third act as the narrative dives head first into the deep end of the loony bin. It becomes overtly clear who the crazy person is (hint: it is the person creeping around the house unbeknownst of the other inhabitants). This is where writer-director Lesley Manning loses me, as Leila takes a hard right turn from a brutally realistic drama to a hokey Hollywood thriller. Nonetheless, Chloë Annett and Lee Boardman’s performances are outstanding.