Unsane – *** OUT OF 4
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the genius film auteur known for, quitting Hollywood, winning the Oscar for directing “Traffic”, and whose film “Sex, Lies and Videotape” changed the industry outlook on “indie films”, has produced a new thriller for the #Me Too generation with the quirky title “Unsane “.The film was shot by the director using the pseudonym Peter Andrews on an iPhone 7+with auxiliary optics ranging from telephoto to extreme wide angle lenses. The story, written by James Greer and Jonathan Bernstein, loosely resembles Sam Fuller’s “Shock Corridor” (1963)mixed with a tad of Milos Forman’s“Cuckoo’s Next”(1975) and stars Claire Foy (Crown) as Sawyer Valentini a woman whose sanity is questionable. She makes a living as a data analyst and as we are introduced to her we find her exiting Boston for Pennsylvania to escape the clutches of a love-crazed stalker, who is tormenting her.
Foy’s impression of Sawyer is rendered with deep inner trauma and on her Tinder- fueled date she shows a pronounced discomfort for intimacy. Face-Time with her supportive mother (played nicely by Amy Irving) is not enough to free her of her inner demons. Seeking professional guidance she ends up in an anonymous psychiatric clinic named Highland Creek. At the institution she is detained for at first 24 hours which later turns into an entire week.
Is Sawyer crazy or psychotic? No spoilers are provided here, but let’s just say the payoff is both compelling and satisfying.