The Truth About Emanuel review

Troubled teen Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario) thinks she’s found the perfect surrogate when she begins babysitting for new neighbour Linda (Jessica Biel), the spitting image of her dead mother. Yet Linda has secrets of her own…

Francesca Gregorini’s film stands or falls on a central mystery as silly as it is surreal. Fair play to Gregorini, though, for avoiding the temptation to deliver an outré slice of suburban Gothic; by framing events as melodrama, she can better examine themes of grief and motherhood.

The result is an odd, sensitive affair, with Skins graduate Scodelario impressive in her American debut.

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