TIFF 2022 review: Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s visually stunning feature debut ‘FIXATION’ takes audiences through trauma and trickery.

FIXATION

In Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s stylish feature debut, Maddie Hasson (Malignant) plays a young woman committed to an unorthodox institution by a pair of enigmatic doctors (Genesis Rodriguez and Stephen McHattie).

TIFF22 film FIXATION from Mercedes Bruce Morgan is a dizzying tidal wave of mystery and trauma. Go down the rabbit hole of lies and deceit in the most manipulative therapy sessions ever. If you can stomach the psychological chaos, you might come out the other side.

Stephen McHattie plays Dora’s enigmatic psychologist. He is a loathsome genius in this role. Genesis Rodriguez gives a nuanced performance as Dr. Melanie. The complexity of her character isn’t immediately apparent, but as the plot moves along, Rodriguez is wonderful. Maddie Hasson plays Dora with genuine fear and confusion. Her raw vulnerability is mesmerizing. Hassan leaves it all on the screen in a visceral turn.

Morgan responsibly begins FIXATION with a trigger warning. Individuals living with trauma will feel this film on another plain. Anjoum Agrama’s fast-paced editing immediately establishes an alarming atmosphere. Music by Michelle Osis gives the film an edgy vibe. Screenwriter William Day Frank teases the audience constantly, releasing clues in every scene. The script is so clever I second-guessed every one of my theories, instantly.

The costumes by Muska Zurmati can only be described as couture hospital chic. Pay close attention to Hassan’s white outfits, in particular. The production design from Lucas Gentilcore and cinematography from Oren Soffer are elaborate and immersive. It’s like a fun house of the imagination, something akin to a practical version of Sucker Punch. The pure mind-fuckery that this film presents will rattle you. FIXATION is a ride to hell and back. My God, if this is only the beginning of Mercedes Bryce Morgan‘s feature filmmaking career, imagine what might come next.


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Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Review: ‘Come To Daddy’ is everything you’d want an Ant Timpson film to be.

COME TO DADDY

Elijah Wood plays an emotionally overwhelmed uber hipster attempting to reconnect with his estranged father. Summoned to a secluded home via a mysterious letter from his dad, he finds himself in an unexpected situation. Wood, as always, is vulnerable and funny. I’ll buy anything he’s selling. His body of work is so eclectic and wonderfully bizarre, what’s not to love? Now let’s talk about Ant Timpson‘s amazing directing. As a producer, The ABC’s Of Death is off the wall fun and don’t even get me started on the insanity that is The Greasy Strangler. Come To Daddy, Timpson’s directorial debut is a genre-bending funhouse. Tribeca’s Midnight section is the perfect slot for Timpson’s work and I do mean that as a compliment. This film takes a sharp turn at 30 minutes in, then hurtles from mysterious to funny, unsettling to WTF, and it is a delight. The camera work is top-notch. There is mayhem for days. Wonderfully timed plot treats fall into our laps like a busted piñata. I simply cannot express how damn fun this film is. You will not have any clue where this is going.

Norval’s (Elijah Wood) life has been, to put it lightly, difficult. Currently living home with his mother, the troubled young man is coming off alcohol-related struggles. So when he receives an unexpected letter from his estranged father requesting a visit, Norval catches a bus up to his dad’s secluded and scenic waterfront home. Maybe reconnecting with his father will give Norval the emotional fulfillment he’s been lacking. Before long, though, he notices something off about his dad, an uneasy feeling triggered by inappropriate comments and a possible over-dependence on booze. Norval quickly realizes that his hope of father/son bonding is doomed. Instead of a family reunion, he finds himself in waking nightmare.
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