Nancy ★★★½

it would be nice if there were an easy answer for why you are the way you are. like harry potter learning he has wizard blood or luke skywalker learning he has jedi blood or british lindsay lohan learning that she has hot dad dennis quaid blood. but most of the time there is no one and nothing to blame, and sometimes that can be unbearable. 

“we tell ourselves stories in order to live,” as joan didion, who is casually mentioned in the film, said. that’s just what nancy does. andrea riseborough’s performance is richly layered with the necessary ambiguity to keep you on your toes, questioning her every movement, her every statement. it’s a knotty character study of a stifled woman finding liberation in her fantasies, symbolized as the aspect ratio changes from a claustrophobic 4:3  to a wider, more breathable 1.85:1. 

writer/director christina choe tackles a plethora of heavyweight themes, (truth, family, idealism vs. realism, etc.) and an 87 minute runtime just isn’t enough space to properly nail them all. nevertheless, Nancy is a strong, astute feature debut — AND STEVE BUSCEMI  is in it!!!!!