‘Saint Frances’ is the new film backed by a UK Independent distribution company that started back in 2014. It quickly became popular and released some great titles such as ‘Child’s Play’ and the critically acclaimed ‘The Assistant’ and ‘Vivarium’. ‘Saint Frances’ is another film to add to Vertigo’s quickly growing reputation. Set around the character Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan), a 34 year old single woman who is working in a dead end job in a restaurant, and has no future plans at all. After she discovers Jace, a man, a few years younger than herself in a similar situation to hers, they quickly hit it off. Her life comes tumbling down after she discovers she is pregnant and decides to get an abortion. Whilst dealing with her feelings towards Jace, she also has to deal with Frances, the six year old that she is babysitting for the summer.
Now you may say that the story itself seems fairly straightforward, but what ‘Saint Frances’ does extremely well is ensure that the story is easy to follow, but throws enough curveballs along the way to keep you engaged throughout. It’s not a one dimensional film, it covers a broad range of aspects that very easily can affect people in modern day life. Abortion, sex, sexism, discrimination, homophobia and relationship breakdowns. All of these subjects are highlighted throughout the film, but there’s something about the film that makes it an enjoyable watch. By all means, the particular subjects are not easy ones to address, but the use of actors and the characters they play make it easy to address these subjects. Especially Ramona Edith Williams, the young actor who portrays the character Frances. Child actors seem to have this innate ability to be able to steal the screen from their adult co-stars. Williams joins that illustrious group of child actors that give a great performance. It’s equally impressive that this is her first IMDB credit and that she is only eight years old.
Honestly, there isn’t much to fault with ‘Saint Frances’. The majority of the cast and crew are either completing their first project on a feature film or have only had a handful of opportunities in film before. The quality of the film and performances on screen, coupled with a very strong script is a rarity for performers who are showcasing their first piece of work. Due to this, I’m confident and excited to see more work from director Alex Thompson and especially the young and very talented, Ramona Edith Williams. ‘Saint Frances’ will be in cinemas this July.
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