Men are bastards. Or at least, there are a fair proportion of men who will put money or their uncontrollable libidos ahead of any relationship, family or personal responsibility. Cinema has tackled these situations in many ways, but it always seems to end up with the woman carrying the can. As well as doing the dirty, they often leave debts in their wake and it’s up to the jilted party to make reparations. Whether that’s by pulling a bank job or a drastic change of career as the titular character undertakes in Josephine Mackerras feature debut, Alice.
To anyone looking in from the outside, Alice (Emilie Piponnier) would seem to have the perfect life. She lives in a beautiful apartment with her loving and successful husband Francois (Martin Swabey) and their young child. However, her world is turned upside down when she discovers he’s been spending their money on high-class escorts and she’s about to be evicted. When he disappears, Alice is at her whit’s end, but then she meets Lisa (Chloé Boreham) and her life changes forever.
Alice mixes light and airy with heavy and deep to create a story which is both amusing and emotionally powerful. Piponnier is excellent as the lead and in many ways it’s an impressive debut However, it just feels a bit too easy. A bit too contrived. And whilst the point Mackerras’s film is making is an important one, it fails to address any of the issues surrounding her new career. Whilst Alice is entertaining and there’s much to admire, ultimate it feels a little too slim.
Alice is released on selected digital platforms from 24 July.