Critically-acclaimed suspense drama Alice, Darling, from Toronto-based production company Babe Nation, arrives to select theatres in Canada on February 3rd. Many are calling Anna Kendrick’s riveting performance her best yet.
The film tells the story of a woman pushed to the breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon. While on vacation with two close girlfriends, Alice rediscovers the essence of herself and gains some much-needed perspective. Slowly, she starts to fray the cords of codependency that bind her. But Simon’s vengeance is as inevitable as it is shattering – and, once unleashed, it tests Alice’s strength, her courage, and the bonds of her deep-rooted friendships.
“Alice, Darling is a subtle, nuanced story about coercion and control,” explains Director Mary Nighy. “As a director, I couldn’t wish for a better cast of talented actors and creatives to bring this important story to life. The chemistry between Anna Kendrick, Wunmi Mosaku, and Kaniehtiio Horn as three friends is a joy to see.”
Headed up by Lindsay Tapscott and Katie Bird Nolan, Babe Nation is dedicated to championing female stories. Founded in 2013 (read the origin story—it’s great), the duo have established themselves as major players in the business, with festival hits like The Rest of Us and White Lie.
Alice, Darling was selected as a gala film at TIFF 2022, and was quick to sell out Roy Thomson Hall. It would appear that their mission to make movies that honour the complexity of women’s lives is proving to be just what audiences so desperately craved. Shocker! “We strive to tell female stories unflinchingly, with nuance, care and authenticity.”
When it came to Alice, Darling, they immediately saw an original gem in Alanna Francis’ script, who also wrote The Rest of Us. “Other films have focused on the abuse itself and sort of sensationalized it. This didn’t and that really attracted us to it. We have all either been in that kind of relationship or know someone who has,” said Tapscott. “So both Katie and I, when we read it, we understood the underlying ‘We feel seen’ sensibility. And that’s been the reaction to the script with every woman who’s read it. That’s why we needed to make it.”
Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick likewise saw the urgency of the subject matter. “I feel like everybody’s been touched by this kind of insidious abuse, whether it’s happened to you or a friend of yours, you’ve seen someone in your life start to shrink and start to look suffocated, and you’re not sure what’s going on. It’s this very unsettling feeling, and you don’t know what you can say, how you can help,” Kendrick says.
Alice, Darling was shot for 20 days on location in Toronto and in Clear Lake, Ontario. Beyond the gripping material and knockout performances, Toronto audiences will have fun spotting different locations and venues featured in the film. More than anything, this film will act as a catalyst for important conversations about abusive relationships and the value of close friends.