I had to give a shout out for BEAST (2017 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5628302/?ref_=nv_sr_3).
Written and directed by Michael Pearce, the film is both adventurous and occasionally masterful. While the screenplay isn’t outright exceptional, it has been realised by the director with assurance and finesse.
The principle takeaway is surely the outstanding performance of Jessie Buckley as ‘Mol’. If Buckley doesn’t go far, something is awry: she is an exceptional acting talent who deserves all the recognition she is receiving for ‘Beast’ - and then some. I think she’s a near-future Oscar nod. Buckley is now filming ‘Misbehaviour’ with Suki Waterhouse, Keeley Hawes, Keira Knightley, under the direction of Philippa Lowthorpe.
As ‘Pascal Renouf’, Johnny Flynn brings his copious acting chops to bear. He presents a character who, despite being capable of terrible things, is ultimately an innocent abroad in a world he doesn’t fit into. Hats off, then, to Julie Harkin for her excellent casting.
Wisely, director Michael Pearce toys with ambiguity in ‘Beast’, but stays just this side of whodunnit. He thus delivers a solid plot, but suggests his interest in the nature of reality, cause and effect etc for those who are interested. Pearce is someone to watch, too.