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film review

Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn in Beast.Handout

  • Beast
  • Written and directed by: Michael Pearce
  • Starring: Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn
  • Classification: 14A
  • 107 minutes

Rating:

2.5 out of 4 stars

With an eye for arresting imagery and a particularly fine performance from Jessie Buckley, director Michael Pearce makes an impressive debut in this thriller about a rebellious young woman who escapes her controlling family with a ne’er-do-well suspected in a series of sex slayings on the island of Jersey. Buckley is still and seething as the unhappy Moll, and Geraldine James is aggressively nasty as her mother, the all-too-convenient bourgeois villain. But the charming Johnny Flynn ultimately struggles to find the right tone for the boyfriend, not helped by a director who hasn’t quite mastered the rhythm required for his surprise ending.