Just when we thought we were done, a new darling to worry about appears! The trailer for Alice, Darling, starring Anna Kendrick, dropped yesterday and I am NERVOUS. The film centers on Alice (Kendrick), a young woman trapped in an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship. The trailer has big “they’re gonna kill that man” vibes, but instead of magic and midnight margaritas, there’s trichotillomania and a missing girl. The film co-stars Wunmi Mosaku and Letterkenny’s Kaniehtiio Horn as Alice’s friends, and Charlie Carrick as her abusive boyfriend. It’s directed by Mary Nighy, daughter of Bill Nighy, making her feature directorial debut.
Alice, Darling premiered at TIFF, where Kendrick revealed she survived an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship, and that the film “felt incredibly cathartic” as a result. She described classic gaslighting (“…when that person is telling you that you have a distorted sense of reality and that you are impossible and that all the stuff that you think is going on is not going on, your life gets really confusing really quickly,”), and said that figuring out what really happened in her relationship was “the hardest task of my adult life.”
One of the things that drew her to the film was a depiction of emotional abuse that echoed her own experience, which is a big reason I am curious to see this film (another is to find out if they kill that guy or not). Emotional and psychological abuse can be tricky to depict, because it looks different on everyone, but that just makes it all the more important to put realistic depictions into the world, so people can see themselves, or their loved ones, in that situation. Film is, after all, the great empathy machine. But this also looks like a solid psychological thriller unto itself, and Anna Kendrick has a good track record with thrillers (see also: A Simple Favor). Maybe we should have been worrying about Alice all along, darlings.