This first English-language film from acclaimed Austrian director Jessica Hausner reads like a fresh and wickedly smart riff on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers story.
Daphne (2017) star Emily Beecham won the best actress prize at Cannes in 2019 for her impeccable depiction of Alice, a single mother working as a scientist at a lab engaged in developing new plant species.
After engineering a new flower which appears to have therapeutic qualities, Alice takes one home as a gift for her son Joe (Kit Connor) who christens it ‘Little Joe’. As the flower grows, Alice starts to suspect that her new creation may not be as innocuous as first thought.
Ben Whishaw is tremendous as Alice’s besotted and decidedly creepy colleague Chris, while Kerry Fox shines as a troubled scientist who finds herself on the receiving end of a disturbing New World Order.
Hausner and co-writer Géraldine Bajard present a nightmare in pastel colours in this breathtaking modern sci-fi. The film relies heavily on its minimalistic aesthetic to tell an inspired story about workplace politics.
This review first appeared in print in The Daily Mirror on the 21/02/20