Good Film! This film is very well played by all actors, including the young girls, directed beautifully and using both impressive scenery and great costumes. Eva Green played a complex character, easy to sympathize with at times, easy to loathe at others. She carried this film almost to perfection. While the beginning of the film is effective due to its period authenticity and performances, the story itself is somewhat sleight. I realize that the opening hour and a half or so is needed to allow for the stellar final twenty minutes, but maybe the danger could have been alluded to earlier. Every emotion and feeling is conveyed by expert story telling, such as the mood of the scene and the body language of actresses. They draw viewers into their world, and into their feelings. One can easily tell Miss G's attraction, confusion and panic; Di's jealousy and Fiamma's emotional change throughout the film. Such an empathy inducing film is rarely seen nowadays. The cinematography by John Mathieson finds both the haunting beauty of the isolated St. Mathilde's School and the splendid panoramas of nature add immeasurably to the film as does the musical score by Javier Navarette - a score that combines Anglican hymns with gentle piano music. This is a triumph for all concerned and bodes well for the career of Jordan Scott. That being said, Jordan Scott you are a genius! Needless to say, I'm looking forward to see more of your work.
Within the confines of a strict, all-girls English boarding school (circa 1930s), a clique students participate on the swim team not only to pass the time, but to be close to their swimming instructor, the enigmatic, yet charismatic, Miss G (Eva Green). While Miss G originally encourages their idolization and crack (crush) on her, the teachers attention is quickly focused on the arrival of an exotic and beautiful Spanish foreign pupil, Fiamma (María Valverde). As the new girl rebuffs her classmates, and further rejects Miss Gs interest, her teammates begin to grow jealous of Miss Gs fascination with Fiamma, and resent the latters distain of their instructor, accumulating in the inexplicable disappearance of Fiamma.
Director: Jordan Scott
Summary: Jordan Scott -- daughter of helmer Ridley Scott -- makes her directing debut with this thriller set at a British all-girls boarding school between World War I and II and starring Eva Green as a popular teacher and coach of the swim team. When a new girl arrives at the cliquish and hormonally charged institution, jealousies erupt, obsessions arise and, eventually, a student disappears.
My Thoughts: "Jordon Scott really did a fabulous and beautiful job with her first film. The under water scenes where gorgeous. The acting is so good. Especially by Eva Green. Miss G. is a beautiful, exotic, and a free spirit in her girl's eyes. She cheers on her girls and teaches them that the most important thing in life is desire and that you can have anything in the world all you need to do is desire it. Not until Fiamma shows up do we see the other side of Miss G. The much darker, disturbed, unbalanced, troubled side. Fiamma brings out the worse in Miss G. Miss G. desires Fiamma's attention and love. Fiamma is quick to notice there is something wrong with Miss G. and tries her best to stay free of her, but there's no escaping Miss G. or her loyal jealous followers. Great film! Intense with great performances from all the young ladies. Must see for certain."
This is beautifully filmed and it's interesting that someone has compared this to Heavenly Creatures, because that's exactly what it reminded me of, though obviously different, not a rip off in any way.
The actresses who play the school girls are a little unremarkable, but it further marks the glamour of Mss G and, to a lesser extent, Fiamma (Maria Valverde), the student who eventually pushes Miss G's fragile sanity over the edge. I think it was a smart move to make the other girls quite ordinary and unmemorable. Compelling and interesting movie. Not sure if it would be one all would enjoy, but certainly worth a look.
A look at the lives and relationships among girls at an elite British boarding school.
Mesmerising. Predictable perhaps, but only because it stays true to so many classic roots (Think Picnic at Hanging Rock meets Lord of the Flies meets Death in Venice... the list goes on) Yet it's never clichéd. Definitely an instant classic on so many levels, and that's before one realises it was directed by the progeny of one of the world's greatest filmmakers - should that be prodigy? Given the history, I feel it's almost a pity there wasn't a part for Harvey Keitel, as he seems to star in the debut masterpiece of more than a few great modern directors, including Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, etc... Personally I would have given him a small cameo as one of the townspeople just for fun! Bravo the Scott Clan (no wonder it felt a bit like watching The Hunger for the first time.) - Encore!
A flic that promises much and looks rather beautiful but ultimately it's a bit of a cock-tease (in every sense) and is only really as appetising as licking coloured ice.
"Cracks" is a great looking movie that is so understated that it threatens to float away at the first breeze. But like some of the characters, the movie is very deceptive as it gracefully seeks to subvert the very notion of the inspirational schoolteacher genre, helped immensely by the brittle charm of Eva Green's best performance to date. To be honest, it may not entirely be Miss G's fault that nothing of substance is taught to the girls, as the syllabus for such a school in 1934 was probably lightweight to say the least which would only leave them prepared for one thing in the outside world.(I was originally going to go with either isolationism or fascism but I think this works just as well.) Still, there are worst places to be stranded where a person can learn the power of a good story. Just remember that it is the real ones that count the most.
"I don't want to be part of your team. I'm not even meant to be here."
"But you're here now, so you'd better make the best of it, and stop being so bloody selfish!"
"I'm not selfish. I just want to go home."
"Don't you think we ALL want to go home?!?"
The apple cart of order is upset by the arrival of a Spanish girl of royal blood at a remote boarding school on Stanley Island off the coast of England in 1934. An intriguingly complicated and continuously shifting triangle of acrimony and affection arises between scandalously free-thinking instructor Miss G (Eva Green), her jealously loyal protege Di (Juno Temple), and the exotic world-wise Fiamma (Maria Valverde.) All three are terrific, particularly Temple whose pride is easily hurt and then repaired, and whose beliefs are challenged in the wake of Fiamma deducing the truth that hides behind the glamorous stories Miss G spins of her adventures. And who else but Eva Green could pull off the twisted seduction scene? The rest of the young cast are also top-notch - why coudn't the original Harry Potter casting director find kids this adept? The malfeasantly monikered Imogen Poots reminded me of a giggly Kate Winslet from Heavenly Creatures or Sense & Sensibility.
A lush score led by violin and piano (reminds me weirdly enough of the sad inflections present in the soundtrack for the videogame Max Payne 2!) and beautiful cinematography perfectly evoke the time and place. And diving - there's lots of diving, but I was more captivated than if watching an Olympic medalist. A worthwhile peek at a darker side of a way of life from a bygone era.