If your father is the director of Alien and Blade Runner, it’s one hell of a shadow to step out of, particularly if you’re stepping into the family business. Cracks is the debut feature from Jordan Scott, daughter of Ridley, and while it’s a lazy thing to do, one can’t help but look for the familial genes at work.
Set in a remote all-girls school, initially Cracks would appear to be tapping If…. with cliques and conformity and class at play, but that’s not really where we’re going. In comparison Cracks is altogether more conventional in structure, and thematically explores base obsession and jealousy – and we’ve certainly been there before. However, the entirely female presence on screen and gradually seeded tensions, turn the piece just off its axis enough, to unsettle and entice the viewer.
To return to Jordan’s progenitor, Cracks is not an overworked painterly vision, but the landscapes and lakeside setting are simple and beautifully captured. It’s within this apparent idyll that the unravelling of Eva Green’s Miss G takes place – she a seemingly confident iconoclastic young teacher, who holds a coven of young girls in her thrall. That is until Fiamma (María Valverde), a knowing young Spanish pupil arrives and sees through Miss G, upturning the cosy arrangements.
A cast of young faces equip themselves well, imparting a combination of innocence and burgeoning adolescence, which treads a fine line at times. If the through-line is predictable, the strength of Jordan Scott’s film lies in the slow build of emotions, both overt and unspoken, which drives the piece to an inevitable conclusion. A small, elegant and confident little debut. 3 stars
Just the trailer and brief interview segments with director Jordan Scott and actresses Eva Green, Juno Temple and María Valverde. 2 stars
Stars Juno Temple, Eva Green, Maria Valverde
Director Jordan Scott
Format DVD & Blu-ray
Distributor Optimum Home Entertainment
Released March 29