Make Up

At the Movies Blog

It’s okay for a movie to be slow, if there is something interesting. Even if it’s just the visuals. Yet that only gets you so far. So while I was intrigued by this Cornwall caravan park, in its coastal locale, which was always breezy and sometimes raining, there wasn’t much else. My wife wasn’t impressed, either (and she loved Portrait of a Lady on Fire last year). I bring up that movie because this is also a slow burn about two women having an affair.

For a while, the movie felt like it was going to be some psychological thriller. We see a mysterious woman in the window, staring at Ruth (Molly Windsor), before quickly disappearing (is it real or her imagination?). We also see Ruth go down this rabbit hole of jealous obsession, convinced her boyfriend Tom (Joseph Quinn) is having an affair after finding strands of long red hair on one of his shirts (I think finding the red hair and discovering an affair was done so much better with Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo in the brilliant The Kids Are All Right). When it becomes the story of two women being together, it was a disappointment because — if this young woman was having this sexual awakening — I don’t buy her being so jealous of her boyfriend in the beginning. They’ve been together for years (since high school), and we see her not being so sexually aroused by him. He’s working there for the winter, and she soon starts working there as well. She is working with Jade, who she suspects is having the affair with her boyfriend (she’s the beautiful British actress Stefanie Martini). Her boyfriend even warns her that Jade has a reputation. That could mean a couple of things.

There’s an interesting character named Shirley (Welsh actress Lisa Palfrey), who I wish we could’ve seen more of.

Writer/director Claire Oakley shows promise with this debut feature, but it’s one of those films the critics are going to feel they have to praise, when in all reality, there’s just not much here of interest. For every scene that makes you think…the lipstick imprint on the mirror that might be from a lover, or her almost drowning in the ocean and her hair turning all red, as if perhaps this mystery woman she is seeing is the really her waiting to break out…there are also many, many other scenes that just fall flat.

1 ½ stars out of 5.

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