The most enterprising young actress of her generation, Michelle Williams has shone in testing indie fare (Wendy & Lucy, Blue Valentine) and more mainstream offerings alike (My Week with Marilyn), but her work here as a restless wife inexorably drawn to hunky neighbour Luke Kirby shows a new level of insight and accomplishment. She’s absolutely spot on, conflicted and believable as a 30-something-year-old unfulfilled by her copywriting job and having to try a little too hard to sustain her marriage to sweet-but-slightly-dull cookery writer Seth Rogen. Does she mess up what she has to get what she thinks she wants?
It feels like writer-director Sarah Polley (33 herself) really knows this terrain, and her frank, often confrontational approach – a contrast from her Alzheimer-themed debut Away from Her – gets the best from her leading lady, while never fobbing the viewer off with easy answers. And you’ll never guess which cheesy ‘80s pop classic she chooses to underscore a pivotal dramatic moment. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)