When 16-year-old Stephanie Daley is accused of murdering her newborn, she claims she never knew she was pregnant and that the child was stillborn. A forensic psychologist, Lydie Crane, is hired to determine the truth behind Stephanie's continuing state of denial. Lydie is pregnant herself and grappling with a shaky marriage as well as a growing intuition that something may go wrong with her own unborn child. Her encounters with Stephanie soon lead her to believe that unraveling the teenager's mystery is crucial to her own fate. The resulting parallel journeys lead each woman to a place of self-realization and acceptance.
A brilliant and unsettling indie drama.
- Stephanie Daley review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Lyndie Crane is a forensic psychologist hired by the state prosecutors’ office to assess 16 year old Stephanie Daley, a shy and mild mannered Christian schoolgirl who has been accused of murdering her newborn baby. Lyndie’s job is to determine whether the state prosecutor has a viable case against Stephanie, did she knowingly kill her premature child? Was she honestly ignorant to the fact she was pregnant? or is she deceiving everyone around her? The film follows the lives of the two female leads and during a series of informal interviews led by Lyndie, Stephanie’s story is retold from the time she conceived, too prematurely giving birth 27 weeks after conception. Lindie’s story is told in the present day, she’s 29 weeks pregnant with a baby which was conceived only three months after giving birth to a stillborn child and her relationship with her husband is often strained due to unspoken and unresolved issues in their past. Both Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn give exceptional, understated natural performances, the direction and script from Hilary Brougher is both delicate and expertly paced, and the last 20 minutes of this film are intense, unsettling and deeply moving as the final parts of Stephanie’s story are revealed. If you’re expecting a crime based drama you’ll be disappointed, this is a beautifully crafted character based film which sensitively deals with an uncomfortable subject matter.