The tiny black font that is used for the credits in the above trailer for Francesca Gregorini’s Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes suggests a TV drama, or maybe even a children’s film based on its title, instead of a dark psychological thriller about mentally mistaken identity. It works really well, as the trailer tells its own story – almost a short film, really – and reveals its subject matter with a proper pacing that I hope holds true within the film itself. Holy shit, people, this font of this trailer’s credits may have moved me.
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes is Gregorini’s second film, following 2009’s female coming of age drama Tanner Hall, which she co-wrote and co-directed with Tatiana von Furstenberg. I suppose Emanuel is also coming of age, but it’s an age that happens to include one of the strangest cases of obsession put to film.
Kata Scodelario (the British Skins) replaced Tanner Hall’s Rooney Mara to play Emanuel, a young woman who doesn’t seem emotionally troubled, other than the fact that she begins babysitting for a neighbor (a href= http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Jessica-Biel-Close-Figuring-Out-Truth-About-Fishes-28470.html>Jessica Biel) because she thinks the woman closely resembles her dead mother. Her father (Alfred Molina and stepmother (Frances O’Connor) see that there is a problem forming, and Emanuel also develops a problematic relationship with a boy (Aneurin Barnard).
The trailer builds itself up to a fever dream of a “third act,” as the obsession is set in stone and is clearly taken to extreme measures. The moment with the titular fish seems to relate Emanuel to the child she’s babysitting, which she probably sees as herself and I don’t even want to know the nature vs. nurture conversations happening after this one.
I was 18 when my dad died, and a couple of years after that, I saw a guy in some public setting that resembled my dad enough to completely take me out of myself for a few seconds, so I can't even imagine building a compulsion around that. To me, the truth about fishes is there's mercury in them.
This was a Sundance hit, and once it plays in Sundance London next week, I’m sure it will be a hit there too. Sadly, there is no release date yet, but expect this thing to blow up – at least for a psychological thriller – on VOD later this year.