Nocturnal LFF Review

Nocturnal Film Review

Director: Nathalie Biancheri
Starring: Cosmo Jarvis, Sadie Frost and Lauren Coe

Nocturnal features captivating performances from both Cosmo Jarvis and Lauren Coe”


I was fortunate enough to attend the world premiere of Nathalie Biancher’s atmospheric debut, Nocturnal. 16-year-old school girl Laurie, livers with her mother Jean in Hull. (I think its Hull, it is never directly stated where they are but, I did some detective work and i think its Hull) Laurie is an accomplished athlete, she is something of an outsider especially from the girls on her track team.
Pete is a painter/ decorator in his 30s, he is somewhat of a ladies man. He is not charming them with his wit or sparkling conversation. He is a sterotypical ‘mans man’. Not very verbal but big with the physical…
After a chance encounter Pete seeks out Laurie and soon, both form a strange friendship fuelled by Laurie’s need for attention, Pete’s desire to be around Laurie and quite a lot of alcohol.

Unease and tension

Director Nathalie weaves a real strong sense of unease and tension throughout Nocturnal. The nature of the friendship between Laurie and Pete sits right on the edge of what is/ is not appropriate. Within the intrigue, there is a sense of frustration. I admit to seeing the connection early on and spent a lot of the screening just wishing Pete would open his mouth!
Even with the knowledge of the connection between the characters, Nocturnal is not an easy light-hearted watch. While the relationship furthers- Laurie becomes more attached to Pete.

Feeling trapped

Nocturnal’s themes are concerned with feeling trapped, concerns about never moving forward and feelings of being alone. Particularly for Laurie.
We have seen plenty of films about teenage girls and the older men they fall for, whether out of a need for security, attention, or a misplaced need for a father figure. Nathalie takes that trope and has you on edge, you sit expecting the narrative to follow- until it doesn’t.

The performances

What stood out, in particular, is the performances from both Cosmo Jarvis and Lauren Coe. Both deliver considered and passionate performances, you can feel the loneliness that emanates from Laurie and the frustration rolling of Pete. Cosmo carries the film on his broad shoulders with fascinating grace.

Nocturnal is captivating , you will be glued to your seat. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

See more coverage from the BFI: London Film Festival: Dogs Don’t Wear Pants | Rare Beasts | Only The Animals |

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