There are certain actors that when you see their name you know exactly what to expect. When I see Toni Collette listed I know things are about to get real messed up. When I see Jonathan Majors I know the intensity is sure to ramp up a few notches. And when I see Noomi Rapace, I know that I’ll be treated to a warped version of some mythic fairy tale that will scar me for life. You Won’t Be Alone does not disappoint.
I’m sad to say I’m not as familiar with writer/director Goran Stolevski. It appears this is his first full-length feature both in writing and directing, and it’s quite a feat. Stolevski understands how to curate his scenery — when to make it look grand and majestic, almost ethereal, and when to make it look off-kilter and disorienting.
Stolevski certainly shines when it comes to approximating the world as it looks to someone who has lived in fear of the unknown for her entire life. At the beginning of the film, we go into what I call “cat’s eye view” as a cat saunters through the forest into the barn. We are the cat.
Stolevski can also be credited with working with his actors to fully understand the embodiment of a person with no social skills. Nevena’s steps are hesitant and her thoughts are spoken in startling and poetic staccato. She’s dirty, and her teeth are stained and rotted. Though she discovers quickly the power of her body, she barely has any control over it.
What a treat! And what a fabulously weird entry for Sundance.
You Won’t Be Alone premiered at Sundance 2022 and premieres theatrically April 1, 2022.
Cherry Score: 75%
Review originally posted by Black Girl Nerds on January 25, 2022.