Cracks (15)

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The Independent Culture

Jordan Scott's debut feature is set in a remote, and remarkably permissive, girls' boarding school in 1934.

Eva Green plays the glamorously floaty "Miss G", idolised by her girls, none more so than team captain Di (Juno Temple). Their cliquish interdependence is tacitly unsettled by the arrival of Spanish aristo Fiamma (Maria Valverde), whose dark-eyed beauty bewitches Miss G and displaces Di as her pet pupil. The atmosphere of suppressed erotic longing gives way to a barely contained hysteria, not always convincingly handled by the young cast: the film seems to be aiming for the ominous mood of Picnic at Hanging Rock, but it's more like Mallory Towers meets Black Narcissus, as the outward poise of Miss G begins to crack and we glimpse the compulsive fantasist beneath. Director of photography John Mathieson – a regular of Scott's dad, Ridley – shoots it magnificently; the waters of the nearby lake, where the girls do diving practice, has a silvery lyricism of its own. If only it had a story to match.

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