“I know this sounds crazy, but sometimes it feels like he can read my mind and there’s nowhere left that I can actually be alone.”Alice
In Alice, Darling the titular protagonist is forced to acknowledge the non-physical abuse in her relationship during a girls’ trip away from her partner. Anna Kendrick delivers her best performance since Up In The Air, portraying Alice with a smiley veneer atop deep insecurity and fear of discovery, both by her partner and by her friends. Perhaps most powerful scenes are when she removes herself, sitting alone in a bathroom and tugging at her hair til it falls out — a physical manifestation of the harm caused by this constant stress. The film’s issues stem from indecision as to the genre focus. As a thriller, Simon turns up at the women’s holiday house too late and with too muted a presence — in general Carrick’s portrayal is neither charming nor threatening enough for this to work. As a drama, Alice, Darling has limited insight to offer, the abusive relationship being clear to the audience from the outset, yet it taking so long to come out into the open that there is only the most cursory discussion between the women afterwards. This is an important subject with a strong central performance but its muddled handling leaves no lasting impression.