The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
"This is a character who keeps herself wrapped under protective layers, yet is still emotionally raw. It's a testament to both [Melissa] Leo's sad-eyed performance and the filmmakers' skill at capturing the subtlety of it that the study has such richness to it." -NPR
Critics' Pick! "An unsparing study of profound isolation" -New York Times
"Tenderly observed... this sad, offbeat character study is often willfully ambiguous but gets at something true and stirring, even unsettling, about its protagonist's stunted emotional growth" -Variety
½ "A brave performance" -Roger Ebert
Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (Frozen River, The Fighter) is unforgettable in the title role of this powerful first fiction feature by documentary filmmakers Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky (The Patron Saints).
Recently released from prison, Francine (Leo) tries to start a new life for herself in a small rural town where she takes on a series of jobsat a pet store, a farm, and a veterinarian's office. She establishes a deep connection with these animals, but every job takes its toll. As Francine makes her way through the world, her mounting isolation only deepens her need to connect.
Employing a spare narrative style that recalls the films of the Dardenne brothers, Francine brings us intensely close to the emotional truth of this fragile woman while leaving the specific details of her past intentionally mysterious. Gritty, elliptical, and voyeuristic, Francine is a careful, intimate study of a woman on the edge.
Directed by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, U.S.A./Canada, 2012, 74 mins.