A great cast all round but it really is the Andrea Riseborough show here in writer/director Christina Choe’s study of an anonymous woman trying to find meaning of her life and existence in Middle America.
We first see Nancy helping her mother (always brilliant Ann Dowd) who is suffering with Parkinson’s. She obviously has no care over her appearance and we suspect why would she? She lives with her mother and is a temp in a dentist called Perfect Smiles – who is there to impress? Nancy shuffles around, only getting animated for her cat, she is a wanna be writer and has hundreds of rejection letters from highbrow publications such as Paris Review and can feel her sense of despair emanating from every pore, it is a wonder how she outs one foot in from the other every day.
The writer in Nancy extends to partaking i dangerous pastimes, she tells her work colleague she went on holiday to North Korea (!) and shows them pictures. More worryingly she writes a blog about losing a child and pretends to be pregnant when she meets a man she has a connection with online (John Leguizmo). This endeavour ends disastrously and then Nancy’s mother dies and she spirals down and crash lands in her biggest fantasy yet where she begins to believe (or does she I was never sure) that she was kidnapped as a five year old. She goes to see the parents, beautifully portrayed by J Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi are prefect and through Nancy’s eyes here are the parents she should have had, the connections are too powerful for her to be wrong, surely? Or is she just playing a horribly wicked game, or perhaps even both exist within her. As the truth edges ever nearer we question if a woman is this desperate for love and is making someone else happy, why shouldn’t she be allowed to try.
Choe keeps her frame tight and claustrophobic at first and DP Zoe White captures the snowy landscape and those within in beautifully. Choe has created a beautiful and intense film, it’s a slight subject but Riseborough keeps it elevated.
Like the little boy who cried wolf, Nancy is a liar, but ultimately we want to believe her and that is all credit to the tour de force that is one Ms Andrea Riseborough. Well worth your attention.