Packaged and sold as a thriller, the directorial debut of Mary Nighy might push the limits on genre classification. An exercise in minimalism, “Alice, Darling” is a quiet, reflective film about a woman tortured psychologically and emotionally in her relationship.

When Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick isn’t lending her voice to entertaining mainstream films like “Into the Woods” or “Pitch Perfect,” she can usually be found starring in indie dramas highlighting social issues. With such a short running time, Nighly hangs on every second, mostly featuring solo moments with Kendrick’s character: pulling her hair out, exhibiting signs of an eating disorder and lots of internal dialogue that represent tell-tale signs of abuse. “Sometimes the hardest things to see is the truth,” the film’s tagline states.

Dustin Chase is a film critic and associate editor with Texas Art & Film, which is based in Galveston. Visit


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