The movie "Alice, Darling" brought attention to coercive control

The movie Alice, Darling stars Anna Kendrick

Mary Nighy only needs to check her social media accounts if she has any doubts about the impact of her debut feature Alice, Darling. .

People who have seen the movie and want to share their experiences have flooded the actor and director with direct messages on Instagram.

Nighy asserts that this has always been the case: "Even during editing, sharing early versions of the film, just seeing how emotional people became. That's a lot to carry, in fact. There is a significant obligation. ".

In the movie Alice, Darling, Anna Kendrick portrays a 30-year-old successful woman who is forced into a relationship with Charlie Carrick's character, Simon.

The role of Alice, which is very different from the ones for which Kendrick is best known in comedies like Up in the Air or musicals like Pitch Perfect, has garnered praise for Kendrick.

What I didn't realize when I offered her the part was that it related to her own life, according to Nighy. " .

During the movie's promotion, Kendrick talked about her own experiences with being in an emotionally abusive relationship. She was the "exact right person" for Alice because of this personal insight, according to Alanna Francis, the screenwriter of the movie.

Wunmi Mosaku, Anna Kendrick and Kaniehtiio Horn
The friends of Alice attempt to step in.

She cites her own experience in a former relationship as the inspiration for the script, saying, "It was a really productive outlet for me to have to speak to her, and bring some of her experiences.".

The movie examines a relationship that is emotionally abusive rather than physically abusive, similar to television shows like Sharon Horgan's Bad Sisters and Channel 4's I Am Nicola.

This type of abuse is known as coercive control, according to the domestic abuse charity Refuge, and occurs "when a perpetrator uses a pattern of behavior over time to exert power and control over a partner.".

In England and Wales, coercive control was outlawed in 2015.

Francis was tempted, though, to add a scene in an early version of the movie that showed signs of Alice being physically abused.

If I'm being completely honest, my concern that people wouldn't understand probably played a role in the draft. When we discussed it, my team members said, "No, we can do the subtle version," and they were all very committed to doing that. ".

Because it's such a recently diagnosed, comprehended, and discussed form of abuse, Nighy continues, "I think there was a concern about whether or not it could carry the film. And I firmly believe that it can. " .

One of the movie's most memorable lines occurs when Alice's closest friends stage a makeshift intervention and whisk her away for a short vacation.

Charlie Carrick
Carrick portrays Simon, Simon's evil boyfriend.

As she struggles to accept the reality of her relationship, Alice says, "But he doesn't hurt me.".

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), domestic abuse affected 5 percent of adults (16 years and older)—6 percent of women and 3 percent of men—in the year ending March 2022. This translates to an estimated 2 point 4 million people—1 million women and 699,000 men.

"Women in abusive relationships aren't always aware that their relationship is unhealthy, and abusive partners frequently isolate a woman from her friends and support network, where conversations about relationships can often identify when things aren't quite right," a spokesperson for the nonprofit Women's Aid says. " .

Although this is fiction, many of the behaviors we see on screen will mirror those that women encounter on a daily basis. Storylines like this can reach audiences in a way that we can't. " .

The reviews for the movie range from overwhelmingly favorable to average. It received four stars from Empire's Helen O'Hara, who described it as "a slow-burning drama, almost a thriller, punctuated by a quietly monstrous turn from Carrick, as a man who thinks he's entirely reasonable, and anchored by a faultless performance from Kendrick.". But in the end, it's the warmth of Mosaku and Horn, the women who awaken Alice and stand with her in the face of the pervasive threat of male violence, that sticks in the mind. ".

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it three stars, saying, "There are some suspenseful moments and intriguingly subtle tonal inflexions, though the story spends time on a phony subplot about a missing girl, time that might have been better devoted to developing the main thriller plot. ".

During the pandemic, the movie was shot in Toronto and rural Canada over the course of 20 days.

Nighy thought the environment was ideal for filming.

"There were no paparazzi because we were in a very rural area. That was personal, then. Additionally, I believe it enhanced the level of trust between the department heads, myself, and all of the actors. ".

In an interview with Tom Power for his Q podcast, Kendrick praised the director for fostering a safe environment on set.

There have been times when camera practice has turned into group therapy. The lovely English rose Mary said, "Guys, we're here to shoot a movie," probably for the last time. '".

Nighy believes that audience response to the movie since its Toronto Film Festival premiere last year is evidence that the story has resonated with viewers, despite the fact that the movie only has a 43 percent approval rating from moviegoers on Rotten Tomatoes (despite having fewer than 50 verified reviews).

"The number of men who have come forward has surprised me. There is a presumption that women are always involved, she claims.

"Everyone should consider the power dynamics they use in their relationships, even if they are not straight, heterosexual, male-female relationships.

"The movie aims to make viewers feel a little uneasy. and ask inquiries. ".

Several streaming services offer Alice, Darling in the UK.

If it has had an impact on you. Domestic violence. or controlling behavior, assistance and support are offered through the. Action Line at BBC.

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