FOUR-STAR STAR TURNS
Writer/director Nia DaCosta won the festival’s Nora Ephron for this whisper-quiet but deeply affecting story of opioid dealing in the backwoods of North Dakota, anchored by an achingly good Tessa Thompson performance. She stars as Ollie, a broke young woman on parole for dealing oxy on job sites and truck stops, who reluctantly reenters the life in a family emergency. (Look at that, it’s a movie about “economic anxiety.”) Thompson conveys vulnerability, desperation, and toughness with aplomb; it’s full of scenes other actors would’ve oversold and blown, and she nails every one of them. DaCosta directs in a modest, slice-of-life style, which only heightens the tension of events on screen – this is the kind of movie you lean forward to hear, and before you know it, you’re overwhelmed.
Based, as its opening splash tells us, on “an absurd but true story,” this docudrama from director Robert Budreauis, basically, an explainer of where the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” came from: the 1973 robbery of Stockholm’s Kreditbanken bank, in which a robber (Ethan Hawke) and hostage (Noomi Rapace) got, very briefly, rather hot for each other.Budreauand his actors pull off toughest sell, making the pair’s desperate, pressured chemistry convincing; Rapace gives him a look after their first kiss that’s one of the trickiest bits of acting I’ve seen recently, and she absolutely nails it. Hawke and Budreaupreviously collaborated on the Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue, and this is a very different role, but a good fit – Hawke is clearly having a great time playing a bit of a bumbler. Budreaunever quite finds an ending, but the vibe he grooves in along the way (much of it provided by the less-remembered, early-‘70s Dylan on the soundtrack) is just right.