Alice, Darling and the importance of showing emotional abuse on screen
The new film starring Anna Kendrick is one of the few visual narratives to deftly handle the insidious effects of an emotionally abusive relationship
If not guided by an ominous score and a remarkable lead performance of brittle, jittery anxiety, it might take you a third of Alice, Darling, a new film starring Anna Kendrick as a woman in an emotionally abusive relationship, to realize something is wrong. Alice’s relationship with Simon (Charlie Carrick), a thirtysomething Toronto-based artist with a suave British accent, could seem innocuous on a clue-by-clue basis. In isolation, a “thinking of me?” text with a kissing face emoji, or the way he drapes his arm over her like a cape, or his chiding to raise her professional ambitions, could seem like affection. The tell is in Alice’s frayed hair – barrel-curled into, as her friend Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn) puts it, an outdated Gossip Girl coif and, from the very first scene, nervously pulled into matted clumps.