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Thursday, September 29, 2022

‘Sanctuary’ Review: Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott Are Electric in a Riveting Two-Hander

20220925 152129
20220925 152129

Zachary Wijon, Managing Director 2014, but under surveillance heart machineanother story of confused impulses and competing desires in safe haven, which is for two people located almost entirely in one hotel suite. Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott make an exceptionally good team here, in a film that requires deep sexual chemistry but keeps sex itself almost entirely out of the picture. By paying attention to one kind of intensity to another, the confrontation elicits without attention, and like the transactions it depicts, it cares more about psychology than sex in any case.

Abbott plays Hal, the heir to a huge hotel fortune who spent a good portion of his spoiled youth in a freak relationship. He regularly meets Dominatrix (Qualley’s Rebecca) at his family’s hotel, writes scripts that will insult and humiliate him but never sleeps with him. Preparing to take over the company now that his father has passed away, Hal knows it’s time (as it once was for Prince Shakespeare Hal) to let go of potentially scandalous pleasures. While he awaits Rebecca’s last visit, he prepares his farewell gift and anticipates a friendly farewell.

safe haven

bottom line

A surprisingly devious and honest battle of wills.

place: Toronto International Film Festival (special screenings)
spit: Christopher Abbott and Margaret Qualley
Director: Zachary Wigon
screenwriter: Mika Bloomberg

1 hour 35 minutes

Every year it becomes more and more difficult to acquire novels of the rich who, while satisfying all their material and practical needs, must devise new ways of being unhappy and of strange pleasures. (Succession And other successes suggest that this isn’t a problem for everyone.) But the conflict we’re about to see would be very hard to imagine without the unseen presence of huge amounts of money, which is more than worth enduring the Richie Rich stuff in the movie to get to.

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Rebecca arrives, pretending to be a stranger, sent for a job interview, and the two play their usual novel. When finished, they sit down to a decadent room service meal, during which Hal announces (as if they knew this day was near) that it was time to stop meeting. “I need to match my insides with my outside,” he explains, noting his need to be seen by the business community as “someone who wins.”

But after accepting this news and saying goodbye, Rebecca stopped at the elevators. This practical kissing is not right. She returns to Hal’s room to say that without her services, he would not have achieved the self-confidence needed to run this company. Like a member of the proletariat with a rare amount of influence, she declares, “I want what I deserve for what you have.” A luxury retirement watch wouldn’t do.

Tension, obviously, ensues. Movies set in hotel rooms seem to require reflections, and this offers a lot as the two argue, flatter, threaten and harass. Although their arrangement has always made him pretend to be at her mercy, the more he feels trapped in the conversation of the day, the sooner he confesses his fortune, assuming it gives him the sole power to decide how things will turn out. But she is too smart and too cunning to accept it. At several points she finds ways, some outright and some not, to assert her own power and make Hal really scared.

Occasionally, the film breaks to catch its breath, with intermittent interruptions of washes of abstract color. Early on, let this remember one of Drunk love punch Seems like a wrong interpretation. But as the picture progresses, revealing some of the deep and tangled dependencies between them, the distant kinship of this film seems less and less impossible. Maybe we are witnessing a love story tainted with money? Is there a path to all of this that does not end with a man wrecked by scandal and/or the body of a woman buried in the founding of a new hotel?

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Both actors ride this rollercoaster with emotional intelligence beyond their years, but the script ensures Qualley owns the show. This is a sex worker and her imagination is not limited to her job; Watching her manipulate Hal, sometimes fueled by her desperation, and sometimes, it seems, for sheer penal pleasure, is kind of intense fun. (Practically none of it is about eroticism, though Rebecca has an amazing “Happy Birthday, Mis-ter Pres-i-dent” moment in which she recites the Pledge of Allegiance, removing eroticism from the mundane.) Her, Mika Bloomberg text It makes it impossible to guess with confidence how things will be resolved.

Without going into detail, this battle of wits and wills is bitter in one moment, hilarious in the next, with occasional threats of minor physical violence. Buried beneath this (sometimes below) the tenderness between two people who shared extraordinarily intimate moments and, at least for Hal, revealed secrets in an environment they agreed to keep safe. (“Sanctuary” is their safe word, which seems to have never been used.)

If the movie is less attractive on its surface, you can spend a lot of time finding metaphors in it for more regular forms of hiring, where bosses can fire at will no matter how dependent they have been on the employee in the past. But safe haven It’s so much fun to turn into a socialist lesson plan. In the end, in fact, it is a kind of excitement, albeit temporary, to escape from such things.

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1 Comment

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