Alice had the perfect life. A loving husband, wonderful friends, and an adorable son, but one day she has her card rejected and when she meets with someone she suddenly learns devastating information. Her husband has been keeping secrets and these secrets have left their family in immediate financial danger. The film Alice screened at the South By Southwest Film Festival in March and I share my thoughts on this emotional work.
After going to the bank Alice learns that every single account has been emptied and she will lose her apartment in just 3 weeks if she doesn’t come up with an excessively large amount of money. Every attempt to contact her husband fails and she eventually finds a number that he has in his paperwork. What shocks her is that this number is for a luxury escort agency, which she decides to visit in the hopes she’ll be able to learn something about what has happened with her husband and their money. With very limited options a surprise call from the escort agency suddenly seems like her only way out. In order to save her home and keep both her son and herself from losing everything she must make a choice that she had never considered.
Chloé Boreham in the roll of Alice is exceptional. Her performance is so multifaceted and moves between emotions so fluidly. She is able to show her intense anger and her husband and the situation he has left them in, while also showing fear and lose at this new role she must take on. On her first evening as an escort she is so flustered and the worry and uncomfortable behavior she presents is both endearing and sad. She does not want to be doing this work, but she can’t think of any other option that can get her the money she needs as quickly as she needs it. Alice’s connection with her son is full of love and she continues to care for him deeply, even with everything that is happening in their lives. There is a moment with Francois that occurs after he finally returns after days away that shows all of Alice’s emotions toward the man she married. The scene is full of love, rage, and uncertainty. The two actors are able to connect with each other in a way that encapsulates all of this into a powerful scene. I will note that the movie is primarily in French with English subtitles. Alice is a powerful film that shows the strength and determination a mother can have when she is pushed to her limits in order to save her family.