Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Throughout a 34-year career marked by films as varied as sex, lies and videotape, Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral, Andie MacDowell has proven that she can do it all.

Nonetheless, she’s never done anything quite as superb as her work in Love After Love, in which she stars as a woman coming to grips with the death of her husband, and the tumultuous individual and familial upheaval created by that loss. As Suzanne, MacDowell exudes a bracing mix of vulnerability, tenderness and longing, as well as a healthy dose of misery and bitterness that comes to the fore during her many scenes opposite Chris O’Dowd (as Suzanne’s misstep-making son Nicholas). It’s a tale of grief, dysfunction and survival that heralds its first-time writer/director Russell Harbaugh as one of American cinema’s finest new artists, and reconfirms MacDowell’s standing as a Hollywood star of formidable charisma and complexity.

Coming amidst the ongoing #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Love After Love’s portrait of a middle-aged woman rediscovering herself in a male- and youth-dominated world couldn’t be more timely. Nonetheless, it’s the intricate personal drama of Harbaugh’s indie that marks it as 2018’s most impressive big-screen debut to date—as well as makes it a fantastic showcase for its leading lady, whose nuanced expression of Suzanne’s internal chaos (and revival) is downright award-worthy.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Author: By Nick Schager