The Truth About Emanuel

A troubled teen (the infinitely engaging Kaya Scodelario) shoulders the blame for her mother’s death in childbirth. New neighbor Jessica Biel not only bears more than a passing resemblance to Kaya’s mom, the poor delusional soul wants a child so badly that she’s convinced herself the Cabbage Patch Kid in her arms is made of flesh and blood. Needless to say, this pair of surreal soul mates are a match made in allegorical heaven. Gatekeeper Scodelario, taking extreme measures to prevent her stepmother from eyeballing the stunt tot, provides much-needed laughter. Given the surreal nature of the piece, it could have stood to gift us with a few more sardonic snickers. As absurd as it all sounds, I never once found myself questioning the ground rules established in director Francesca Gregorini’s (debuting here as a solo act) stylized clash of the mother figures. With Alfred Molina and Jimmi Simpson. 2013.

3.0 stars

— Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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