Candid Cinema

Sundance Film Festival: ‘Resurrection’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

When we are young, the decisions that we make, and one’s that are made for us can affect us for the rest of our lives. At one point or another, young women are taking advantage of because of their vulnerability and naiveté. Young girls have been groomed and abused in many different ways, as those acts can sometimes be labelled as love. The perception of love and relationships can be tainted forever, causing future relationships to feel unsatisfying. In Andrew Semans, Resurrection he explores trauma, motherhood, and relationships through a very obscure story with Rebecca Hall giving her best performance to date as Margaret.

Margaret leads a successful and orderly life, perfectly balancing the demands of her busy career and single parenthood to her fiercely independent daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman). Margaret knows that Abbie is going away for college soon and the need to teach her the proper precautions is the catalyst of her spiralling into the thought of an empty nest. There are little situations that happen with Abbie that force Margaret to hold onto her a bit tighter in order to protect her. Margaret’s past trauma, which is powerfully retold through a monologue by Hall at the midpoint of the film, slowly begins to affect her judgment when she catches a glimpse of the man who had taken so much from her early on.

As the film goes on, we see where the trauma stems from for Margaret and it is one of the most unsettling stories. Semans puts the focus on mental and emotional abuse through Margaret’s story and explores the aftermath of living with the past. Rebecca Hall gives an outstanding performance and completely embodied this role. The small mannerisms, the breaths that she took, the shaking during her moments of panic, and the physicality she brought to this role was brilliant. She used everything in her body to tell Margaret’s story and she grounded this film. If it weren’t for Rebecca Hall, this film wouldn’t have worked as well.

Resurrection is a very slow burn, psychological thriller that dives into past trauma and how it can affect your entire life. The first half is grounded in Hall’s performance and the meaning of motherhood, while the second half goes a bit off the rails. The story is just a tad bit too obscure to fully grasp the themes that were used in the film. The final 10 minutes are truly shocking and there is a certain boundary with the suspension of disbelief to have it be beneficial to the narrative. The pacing was strong and watch Hall spiral into past was truly something to see. It surely is an interesting, original story and it gave us a phenomenal Rebecca Hall performance.

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