Cert: 15 Runtime: 97 mins Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Juno Temple, Jay Pharoah and Polly McKie
Is she or isn’t she?
After Steven Soderbergh’s triumphant return with Logan Lucky was he going to go to retirement?No! Probably one of the most intriguing and experimental film-makers now brings us Unsane. Completely shot on an iPhone with the FiLMiC app, Soderbergh keeps challenging himself and us an audience. So what is Unsane about you ask? Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) relocates from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape from the man who’s been stalking her for the last two years. While consulting with a therapist, Valentini unwittingly signs in for a voluntary 24-hour commitment to the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. Her stay at the facility soon gets extended when doctors and nurses begin to question her sanity. Sawyer now believes that one of the staffers is her stalker — and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive and fight her way out.
There is a real sense of panic and claustrophobia thanks to the use of wide lenses and close proximity to the actors that probably is in large part due to the fact it was shot on a smartphone. You really feel like you are thrust into the very middle of this nightmare – so kudos to Soderbergh for that. This is genre film-making at its very best – and blast to watch and a reminder that Soderbergh is a master of his trade and can effortlessly move between genres. Steven Soderberghs nicely plays with the audience and permanently asks the question is she rightly there or indeed insane? Its a stalking drama that turns into a mystery thriller until it reaches its point as a horror film. Claire Foy is a tour de force as Valentini, such a convincing performance she kept us guessing through out. Utterly strong, harrowing and mesmeric. As for the supporting cast Juno Temple and Joshua Leonard were on prime form too. They really drove Unsane along with Foy, and elevates the mysteriousness of it. Unsane won’t be for everyone, but Soderbergh and Foy have created a mind-boggling film that leaves you on the edge of your seat.