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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Eva Green
Juno Temple
María Valverde
Imogen Poots.
Directors
Jordan Scott.
Screenwriters
Ben Court
Caroline Ip
Jordan Scott.
Running Time
104 minutes

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Cracks
It’s like St. Trinian’s’ evil twin


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Plot
In a strict 1930s boarding school, the diving team are a tightly knit clique led by Di Radfield (Temple) and mentored by the enigmatic Miss G (Green). But the group’s dynamics are challenged by the arrival of new Spanish student Fiamma (Valverde).


Review
Cracks
Appropriately enough for a feature debut, this is a film about first times: first love, first heartbreak, first incoherent rage at the way the world seems to have turned against you. But it’s also a film that is understated to the point of silence, a straight-laced melodrama that takes a detached and somewhat passionless view of its characters, who are all fervour in their actions.

Set in a 1930s boarding school where the girls receive tuck boxes from stiff-upper-lipped parents who have, to all intents and purposes, abandoned them to institutionalisation, the atmosphere is at once stultifyingly dull and rife with hidden intrigue: midnight feasts, cliquey plotting and all the high-running blood of adolescent schoolgirls. Di Radfield (Juno Temple) is the flouncing diva of the diving team, a favourite of queen bee teacher Miss G (Eva Green) and ruler of her own little world, but when exotic new girl Fiamma (María Valverde) arrives, Di is displaced in her teacher’s affections, and her own high opinion of herself is rocked.

Eva Green, always more comfortable as the weirdo than the sex kitten, is perfectly cast as the glamorous schoolteacher who inspires the girls. It’s only gradually that the cracks start to show: a little desperation around the eyes, a sense that she needs their adoration, the realisation that her fashionable clothes are homemade and that her travel stories have something of the Walter Mitty about them. Miss G’s isolation from the other teachers is revealed as less her choice than theirs; her confidence a façade only fit to fool adolescents. As she unravels, so the other imperfections in the clique’s lives become unbearable, and inevitably there are tragic consequences.

The film’s at its best when it leaves things unexplained — Miss G’s near-phobia of the outside world, her murky past, Fiamma’s romantic history — and weakest when the plot’s speed passes a meander and rushes towards a too-familiar conclusion. As a Lord Of The Flies influence colours proceedings and the characters come unstuck, you may find yourself wishing for the comforting whitewash of Mallory Towers rather than this bleak twist on school days.


Verdict
An auspicious debut for Scott, but one whose ingredients are too familiar to really fizz. Green is great, though, in a dark-tinged role that plays to her strengths.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Cracks
Empire Star Rating

A beautiful Spanish aristocrat arrives at this upper class girls school in the 30's to the dismay of the girls that seem to rule the halls. The girls are one minute hostile, then on the other hand are fascinated by the tales she entertains them with. While this is developing, the liberal, girls best friend teacher takes an unhealthy interest in this girl which leads to the the instability of the teachers mental health. This directorial debut from Ridley Scott's daughter is a fascinating story... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zedphelan at 23:07, 13 September 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Cracks

If you've seen the Variety one-sheet quote of Cracks then you've pretty much imbibed the essence of the film.  The editorial helpfully cites three distinct source influences for the story and affected style of the film.  You may be chastened to congratulate their thorough x-ray perusal of Jordan Scott's debut however, when you realise that spotting this triumvirate of prototype is like playing I-spy in a padded cell.  Bland a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by demoncleaner at 21:46, 19 January 2010 | Report This Post


Cracks

Jordon Scott's first feature is an interesting film studying sexual obsession and rejection with a hint of Lord of the Flies. Cracks isnt a perfect film and will most likley not be remembered in years to come. However the fims performances are excellect and Scott's direction is fantastic. Its not perfect but with Scott's direction and a fine cast this is the birth of better things to come. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Soprano168 at 22:09, 04 December 2009 | Report This Post


Oh dear

This is an unfortunate name for an all female film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spamandham at 23:58, 02 December 2009 | Report This Post



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