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The Truth About Emanuel

Drama . Thriller

A troubled young woman becomes obsessed with her mysterious new neighbor, who bears a striking resemblance to the girl's dead mother.

Actors: Kaya Scodelario , Jessica Biel , Alfred Molina , Frances O'Connor , Jimmi Simpson , Aneurin Barnard , Sam Jaeger , Anne Ramsay , Spencer Garrett , Kevin McCorkle
Directors: Francesca Gregorini
Country: USA
Release: 2014-01-10
More Info:
  • Annlee Ellingson

    Writer-director Francesca Gregorini builds unbearable tension into scenes that otherwise risk tilting toward melodrama and brings the eye of a fashion photographer to the film's hallucinatory dream sequences.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Chris Packham

    Despite the psychological extremes, writer-director Francesca Gregorini presents her characters as recognizably human balls of complexity, nudging but never forcing them toward a sad, beautiful conclusion.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Simon Kinnear

    Francesca Gregorini’s film stands or falls on a central mystery as silly as it is surreal. Fair play to Gregorini, though, for avoiding the temptation to deliver an outré slice of suburban Gothic; by framing events as melodrama, she can better examine themes of grief and motherhood.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Despite some very welcome black comedy — Jimmi Simpson appears delightfully, but too briefly, as a passive-aggressive co-worker who threatens to unravel the cocoon of delusion in which Emanuel has wrapped herself — the movie, trapped in the weeds of self-pity and skin-deep badassery, never quite earns the sympathy it so strenuously solicits.

    NPR Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    Although Gregorini is very clear on where her lead characters are coming from, it’s where they’re headed that remains entirely vague, an oversight that leaves them unfortunately adrift.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    The film has an odd and striking energy, and the chemistry between Scodelario and Biel has an electrical charge to it. There are a couple of genuinely creepy moments, and Gregorini keeps us on an emotional knife edge. Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    They waste this cast and these characters on a story so conventional, so neatly wrapped up in the finale, that the real mystery is how Gregorini and co-writer Sarah Thorpe didn’t see that.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    With a radically different tone and less naturalistic performances, The Truth About Emanuel might conceivably have worked. Gregorini didn’t commit to the synthetic; paradoxically, that’s what makes the film feel false.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    Unable to create emotional tension, it instead opts for obliqueness — which can be tantalizing, but only if there’s something worthwhile hidden underneath. In this case, there isn’t. Instead, the movie comes across as evasive, repetitive, and, eventually, more than a little dull.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Cory Everett

    There are shades of “Lars & the Real Girl” here, but where that film skewed towards dark comedy (which helped temper its outlandish premise), "Emanuel" is almost completely humorless.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    The most startling truth is about Emanuel is that she's a rather ordinary teen in a rather ordinary movie.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Dennis Harvey

    Played flatly head-on with some poetic pretensions, the concept never becomes particularly credible or appealing.

    Variety Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    Writer-director Francesca Gregorini's film just feels tonally off like that most of the time, and the inclusion of magical realism elements — while attractively photographed — only muddle matters further. Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    It's highly doubtful that you'll grasp even a little of The Truth About Emanuel after seeing this film. It's not so much a thriller as it is a ride on a runaway crazy train.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    The arsenal is empty, and there’s nowhere for The Truth About Emanuel to go except — unfortunately — downhill.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    The film never finds its dramatic footing. Nor, sadly, its common sense.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    A film so self-serious that it demands to be remade as a Seth MacFarlane farce, The Truth About Emanuel mixes the ludicrous and the pretentious in a story about mommy issues gone wild.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Tomas Hachard

    What's missing, in the end, is any provocative or poignant insights into the "truth" about Emanuel; all we get are vague hints.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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  • 4. Carmen, Act 1: Lamour est un oiseau rebelle, Habanera Performer: Malena Ernman Stream Music Online
  • 6. Ruhe Sanft, Mein holdes Leben from Zaide, K.344 Performer: Miah Persson and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 12. Carmen, Act 1: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle, Habanera Performer: Malena Ernman Stream Music Online