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In the third feature from maverick American film-maker Josephine Decker, a medicated 16-year-old theatre student named Madeline (Helena Howard, an arresting debut) finds herself in an increasingly unstable headspace as her overbearing acting teacher Evangeline (Molly Parker) provokes her for the sake of performance. Her mother (a convincingly wobbly Miranda July) attempts to intervene; no such luck as Madeline spins further into her own private chaos, as emphasised by cinematographer Ashley Connor’s increasingly feverish camerawork and woozy, Vaseline-smeared lens. Decker’s own background is in experimental theatre; this film was built from improvisational workshops rather than a traditional script. The dilemma she presents is ethical: is it fair to ask someone to traumatise (or retraumatise) themselves for the sake of art? Rather boldly, it seems as though Decker is also asking the question of herself.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Madeline’s Madeline review – feverish psychological thriller | Drama films