Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Cracks in the Shell screens at SIFF May 18, 9:30pm at Pacific Place, May 22, 9pm at the Egyptian Theatre, and again May 25, 9:30pm at The Everett Performing Arts Center.}

Fine (Stine Fischer Christensen) is a mousy, innocent, and mostly ignored actress who is berated by the head coach at her acting school for not being visible enough, and rightly so, since she promptly falls asleep on stage during an important workshop. So it’s a surprise when she wins a juicy and prominent lead role in a famous director’s new play. 

But amidst struggles at home with an overwhelmed mother and a mentally-handicapped sister, Fine starts to crumble as the demanding director gives her more and more off-stage advice on how to “become” the sexually-charged and destructive character Camille … which, predictably, sometimes involves "becoming" in his bed. (oof. bad joke, sorry!) 

Donning a blonde wig fashioned for the play, Fine adopts Camille’s persona and sets out to romance a handsome stranger named Joachim (Ronald Zehrfeld, whose ruggedness I totally drooled over in last year’s 12 Paces Without a Head), which doesn’t quite produce the tragic results the director was hoping would come across in her acting. Determined to please him, Fine continues a downward, Black Swan-esque spiral on her way to fully becoming Camille, which uh. May or may not end well.

Clocking in at 113 minutes, Cracks in the Shell starts to wear a little thin by the end, but it’s still a nice way to spend the evening—if only to watch Christensen shine in the lead role. And don't worry, it's not *quite* as depressing as Aronofsky's doomed ballerina tale.