Seeing the statement 'a film by Carol Morley' is a recommendation in it self. Having previously seen two of her films, her first full-length feature film Edge (2010) which tells about a collection of random misfits who descend on the hotel on the Sussex coast of England in the middle of a snow-covered winter landscape, and her docudrama Dreams of Life (2012) a movie which attempted to reconstruct the life of a 36 years old young woman, Joyce Carol Vincent, who lay dead for 3 years in her London flat, I was looking forward to seeing her latest feature film outing as writer and director.
Set in an Oxfordshire all girls day school in 1969 The Falling (2014) is about sexual hormonal hysteria driven by sexual repression of a group of teenage girls and there female teachers. The two main characters are Lydia ‘Lamb’ Lamont (Game of Thrones Maisie Williams, who based on this role certainly has a future in the industry) whose father has run off leaving her agoraphobic mother Eileen Lamont (Morley regular Maxine Peake) to look after her and her brother Kenneth (Joe Cole). At school Lydia becomes infatuated with the sexual permissive Abigail Mortimer (Florence Pugh) and they form a very close loving friendship, not just exhibited by carving their initials in a tree but by some very intimate integration between the two friends. After a rather unexpected event, which places Lydia in the limelight, the school is involved in an epidemic of the hysteria manifested by fainting spells.
|The agoraphobic Eileen Lamont.|
This movie should put Carol Morley up there with other British female filmmakers of stature including Lynne Ramsay, Clio Barnard and Andrea Arnold. It’s a powerful fascinating film, poetic, with an autumnal dream like landscape helped by the cinematography of Claire Denis’s long time calibrator, the French born Cesar Award winning Agnes Godard and her 1960’s camera lenses. The original soundtrack is by Tracy Thorn who is best known as one half of Everything but the Girl. The viewer is forced to decide what is realism and what is alternative reality in a film that certainly crosses the boundary between the two with its deep-rooted sexual awakening of young womanhood.