A Banquet (2021)

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A Banquet (2021). A Banquet: Directed by Ruth Paxton. With Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, Lindsay Duncan. Widowed mother Holly is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith Betsey refuses to eat, but loses no weight. In an agonising dilemma torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.

“After witnessing the death of her father, a young woman has a mysterious experience which leads her to believe that she is intended for a higher purpose.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDeliberately paced and slow burning, Ruth Paxton and Justin Bullu0026#39;s film manages to portray the existential horror without (too much) reliance on gross out or trope-ish apocalyptic imagery.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe slow burn unravelling of proceedings is sustained by smartly controlled filmmaking and excellent performances, particularly the double leads of Sienna Guillory and the extraordinary Jessica Alexander.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s final scene feels a tad familiar but doesnu0026#39;t lessen the strength of whatu0026#39;s gone before.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWell worth a look for admirers of films like Violation, Censor and Saint Maud or Von Triers mid period films, particularly Dogville and Melancholia.”

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