Review: Every Secret Thing
The importance of communication.
When Ronnie and Alice (Eva Grace Kellner and Brynne Nyquist as children, Dakota Fanning and Danielle MacDonald as adults) were 11, they were responsible for an infant's death. An infant who was a stranger to them that they just took. It sounds simple, but it isn't. Seven years later, they are out of juvie, no contact with each other, trying to live their lives. Sullen Ronnie works at a bagel shop. Snobby Alice spends her days walking, trying to get in shape. When a toddler goes missing, her resemblance to the daughter of the woman whose baby they killed is uncanny, so that brings Detectives Nancy Porter (Elizabeth Banks) and Kevin Jones (Nate Parker) to question them.
The film opens with a scene that isn't revealed until much later in the book. I felt like that may have taken some of the mystery away. Though obviously having read the book it's hard to say. It just seemed like a strange thing to open with. Like they wanted you to know right away which one of the two was the cruelest, where you kind of had to guess a bit more in the novel.
The film did well at condensing the novel into a short 90 minutes. They didn't leave out any big points. They managed to make Cynthia Barnes actually feel more sympathetic, whereas in the book she came off as kind of a bitch. (Which is terrible, I know, she's obviously a character that is hurting, but I couldn't shake that feeling when I was reading it)
I thought the cast was excellent, Banks and Fanning being the strongest, even though Fanning's role was small. Diane Lane is great as Alice's frankly ridiculous mother, and MacDonald is perfect as Alice. Very close to how I imagined her.
I suppose many might see this as a typical melodrama, but the story here is very fascinating and the cast is great. It's a worthy adaptation to a great book.
Memorable Quote: "Some things are easier if you can sleep through them." - Ronnie (Dakota Fanning)