Emelia (Jessica Brown-Findlay) takes a job as a cleaner in a seaside hotel, making friends with the owner's daughter Beth (Felicity Jones), as well as having an affair with the owner himself, Jonathan (Sebastian Koch).
Niall MacCormick’s debut feature sees four lives at an impasse. A former bestselling author who’s blocked (Sebastian Koch), his wife (a droll Julia Ormond) who dreams of her long-faded acting career, their daughter struggling to escape the family home (Felicity Jones) and her friend, the enigmatic Emelia (Jessica Brown Findlay), who harbours lofty literary ambitions. Stuck in a creaky old seaside guesthouse, they rattle off one another like spinning tops. It could be an exercise in indolence if not for the razor-sharp dialogue that springs from the screen, especially in the precocious mouth of Brown Findlay, whose performance is startling. The only real let-down is an uneven third act and an inappropriately neat ending that unnecessarily rounds the story’s irregular corners.
A startling performace from Findlay doesn't quite make up for a disappointing third act.