Review: Unsane

Maybe it's all in my head.

Sawyer (Claire Foy) has just moved to a new city to flee a stalker, though she still "sees" him everywhere she goes. She goes to a mental health facility looking for a therapist to talk to and winds up getting involuntarily committed instead. Then she finds that her stalker, David (Joshua Leonard) is working at there with her, or is she seeing things again?

Hearing that director Stephen Soderbergh of all people is going to shoot a film on an iPhone is strange enough as it is. He has plenty of funds at his disposal, he can shoot on whatever he wants. So why the gimmick? Apparently atmosphere. Shooting like this makes us feel like we're actually right there with Sawyer. Like we're following her, locked somewhere we don't want to be with her, it's very claustrophobic. The graininess you see in the trailers is easily forgotten one you're fully immersed in the film.

This is one of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time. It doesn't play it safe and you consistently question whether or not Sawyer is seeing things as they really are or if this is all a figment of her imagination. I think films that involve people trying to get themselves out of treatment can fall into a territory where they make plot based decisions instead of logical ones. I didn't feel that here. Sure, Sawyer lashes out and that doesn't help her, but it never feels like something that's just there for the sake of keeping the plot rolling. 

If anyone has seen Claire Foy's work on The Crown, you know how strong of an actress she is, and she is excellent here. I loved her scenes with fellow patient Nate, played by Jay Pharaoh. The surprise for me Leonard. I'm not familiar with his work but I was really impressed with his outing here. 

A film like this may not give you all the answers you're looking for, but it gives you plenty to think about.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "You're a fucking Simpleton.." - Sawyer (Claire Foy)

20 comments:

  1. This movie just exploded out of nowhere, didn't it? Thanks for the good review - I didn't have a sense of it and now I want to see it.

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    1. It really did. I just had mediocre expectation. I love when films do this.

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  2. I do want to see this. I'm not sure I'll be able to this weekend but I hope it comes on DVD later in the year. It's Soderbergh, I'll see whatever he does.

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  3. i haven't seen The Crown, so this was my first introduction to Claire. She was excellent! and i honestly think that is the only film i've seen on iphone where its usage was actually justified. it intensified the drama.

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    1. Agreed. I liked Tangerine and I get why they used it for budget, but it really served its purpose here.

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  4. Looking forward to this. I am a fan of Soderbergh's work and love the way he tells stories.

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  5. Arghh I'm so glad this is a good one! I saw the trailer a while back and I've been excited ever since but you never know with these kind of movies. You've got me hyped now!

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    1. I hope you like it too! It was more than I was expecting it to be for sure.

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  6. I'll catch it on DVD to fastforward Damon but glad to read it's good! LOL at Soderbergh allegedly retiring and making a new movie every year

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    1. Right? I remember all the fanfare after Behind the Candelabra. To be fair, you could just walk out of the theater for a minute when Damon shows up. He's literally on screen for maybe 2 minutes tops? If that.

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  7. Yes! I love that you liked this so much. That quote above the picture is perfect; I love how she just threw it out there. And Joshua Leonard... yeah, he's really proved himself to be a strong actor. He's come along way from being lost in the woods in The Blair Witch Project!

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    1. Right? I had to look him up and I'm surprised he was there.

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  8. Oooh, shot on an iPhone? That really does raise a lot of questions if the movie is as good as you say.. I mean the concept of it alone sounds thrilling! I'm probably going to see it, especially since I have been so impressed by Foy in The Crown!

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    1. She's excellent and the shooting style works so well here. Definitely go see it.

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  9. Nice review, Brittani. Yeah, I dug the way it was filmed. Initially off-putting, and almost filmed in a way that felt like we were spying on her. But as the movie progressed, there really couldn't be a more fitting way to do this movie. Brilliant stuff.

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    1. Thank you! I agree about the spying part. Fitting.

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  10. There's been some negative feedback so I'm glad you liked it bc I really want to see this!

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    1. I think the good has been far outweighing the bad for this film, thankfully. I hope you enjoy it!

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