Title – Unsane (2018)
Director – Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11)
Cast – Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Amy Irving, Juno Temple
Plot – Unwittingly committed to a mental hospital, Sawyer Valentini (Foy) must find a way out of the facility while also facing the prospect of escaping her long term stalker/facility nurse David (Leonard).
“I never really knew what being alive was until I saw you”
Review by Eddie on 04/02/3019
He said he was retiring, due to the fact he had had enough of Hollywood, but in what has ended up being one of the shortest retirements of all-time, it appears as though divisive director Steven Soderbergh is back to his best (worst?) with the experimental Unsane.
Hot off the back of the modest hit and easy to like Logan Lucky, Soderbergh has gone full indie and back to his roots by delivering a feature film shot entirely with a mobile phone over just 10 days, using equipment readily available to any wannabe filmmaker showcasing that A – you can make a film and that B – he is awesome.
It’s a neat showcase regardless of Soderbergh’s intentions and a great example of how filmmaking has become such an easily accessible art form with the increasing advancement of portable and affordable technology, yet outside of the gimmicky nature of Unsane’s development, the actual film at the core of this thriller isn’t very good, in fact, it’s downright bad.
A high-concept narrative that see’s Claire Foy’s increasingly unhinged office worker Sawyer Valentini unwittingly committed to a mental facility only to find out that her one-time stalker is working there as a nurse, Unsane has an intriguing set-up but it’s both poorly executed and amateurishly delivered which is partly due to the way in which Unsane is shot but largely due to the fact this is one of those Soderbergh films that feels rushed and unpolished, a staple of the filmmakers career in and around his more championed pieces of work.
Things within Unsane never feel in the slightest bit believable and character decisions and important plot advancements feel unearned and often completely random, making the film hard to get on board with, despite the best and valiant attempts of Foy.
Breaking out with Netflix’s The Crown and certainly well on her way to becoming a household name (especially with roles in The Girl in the Spider’s Web and First Man), Foy is a shining light in an otherwise forgettable exercise and her willingness to get her hands dirty playing Sawyer is the best thing about Unsane outside of its behind the scenes construction.
Final Say –
Soderbergh will always remain a director that hits the odd high mark, the frequent middle mark and the too frequent low mark, with Unsane being absolutely being one of these. A film that lacks any real thrills, twists or turns or an engaging core, Unsane is a forgettable and instantly disposable feature that’s only benefit is a gimmicky inception and committed turn from Foy.
1 ½ padded rooms out of 5