Emily Vancamp in Marya Cohn’s “The Girl In The Book”
“What’ll you have Champ” Ben (Michael Cristofer) purloins, as if he’s just cheated Jay Gatsby out of his billion-dollar fortune. As he asks his troublesome, recently-turned twenty-nine daughter Alice Harvey (Emily Vancamp) what she’ll be having for their routinely banquet at a favored, yet unnamed restaurant. ‘The Filet” Alice responds with a new assurance in her voice. Knowing the regretful path of self-discovery and the understanding of moving beyond it wasn’t easy; as the notion of no longer being a floor matte and idly going about life truly isn’t worth the pain.
Having failed as a writer early on in life and living in a Spectre of another, one Milan Daneker (Michael Nyqvist), famed Russian novelist of “Waking Eyes”. Does Alice’s unforgettable past come crashing into her current life as an editor at a nameless publishing company in the heart of Manhattan. When Milan storms into the office with the latest manuscript of his current novel seeking publication as do many eager novelists seeking to get their work out into the open air. Must, Alice come to terms with the man and events that she’d much rather forget about.
However, there is hope for Alice yet as she easily breaks the ice with Emmett (David Call) whom also was looking for some social escapism and discovers they have more in common than social awkwardness and the need for an occasional bathroom chat; As he is both a writer and a political zealot looking for love. Plus, she has the motherly Sadie (Alie Ahn) whom not only is just a good girlfriend, but one who keeps in her in check and reminds Alice of her loathsome tendencies.
Cutting between the past and the present Marya Cohn’s debut feature delivers the unsettling past while unraveling the here and now. The past is seen through Alice in her teenage years characterized by Ana Mulvoy-Ten whom probably would have been a better pairing with Alice Eve than with Emily VanCamp, as the two bear almost no resemblance in looks as they do in performance. Vancamp, who is on the rise to become one of Marvel’s leading ladies, delivers a heartbreaking performance that will shake the living room floor as elements come fourth to cripple Alice. Whereas Mulvoy-Ten is far from the ballpark her colleagues are currently sitting in as knockout performance, one-after-the-other flies by her. As young Alice and Nvquist’s Daneker have that frightful unsavory scene together, that comes off rather creepy instead what should’ve been, unwelcome and unforgiving desire as this is what the film implies through Alice in her encroaching thirties.
Editing and Lighting are superb as Trevor Forrest and Jessica Brunetto respectively provide some excellent match frames that had it not been for the reliance on quick cuts or the hand held camera, would’ve fooled those into thinking they were living within the same time period. Although that deliberately is not the case, as the film tell its story in a brisk 96 minutes. Overall The Girl In the Book, is a pleasant delight that grounds itself in a reality some of us unfortunately bear in the journey that is life.