Glasgow Film Festival 2015: The Falling

Film Review by Ian Mantgani | 26 Feb 2015
Film title: The Falling
Director: Carol Morley
Starring: Maisie Williams, Maxine Peake, Monica Dolan
Release date: 24 Apr
Certificate: 15

Carol Morley’s woozy, eerie, 1969-set girls’ school mystery has proved divisive on the festival circuit – at London Film Festival, where it premiered, it was hailed as a masterpiece by a few, walked out on by many. After establishing a dreamy, nakedly emotional, sexualised and menstrual milieu, the film segues into tragedy and then charts a strange fainting epidemic that takes over the pupils and some of the teachers. Borrowing freely from Nicolas Roeg (and produced by his son Luc), as well as making reference to pagan folklore, The Falling invites us to wonder whether something supernatural is afoot, or the mass-blackouts are merely a psychosomatic rebellion. 

Without spoiling anything, we can say that the film promises to resolve much but moves on to other themes, and we found it evocative but unsatisfactory. Still, Morley offers much to ponder, and it may be that this is a work that plays better with age – in hindsight, perhaps it can be appreciated for all that it puts on the table rather than for what it answers.

The Skinny at Glasgow Film Festival 2015:

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26 Feb, GFT, 8.40pm

27 Feb, Grosvenor, 8.30pm