Bad Behaviour


Mothers and daughters can often have a complicated relationship, so it’s no surprise that its one that is so often explored in film.

Australian actress Alice Englert makes her directorial debut with this black comedy, which will no doubt create an interesting discourse with her own mother, director Jane Campion.

boom reviews Bad Behaviour
Am i all good as a corpse? yep, raring to go!

Arriving at Loveland Ranch is Lucy (Jennifer Connelly); it’s a well being retreat, and she’s there to consult with her favourite self-help guru Elon Bello (Ben Wishaw). She thinks it’s the best place for her, especially having such a fractured relationship with her daughter Dylan (Englert).

Meanwhile, Dylan is literally on the other side of the world in New Zealand, where she’s a stunt person working on a film being shot there. There’s an argument that can be had for her job being a type of therapy in itself, to cope with the difficult relationship she has with her mother, by having herself literally beaten up.

Although distance is currently keeping the pair about, it’s about to disappear as they find themselves having to reunite under peculiar circumstances.

boom reviews Bad Behaviour
The towels are needed because so many say im very wet.

Englert made her acting debut at the age of 12, in her mother’s short The Water Diary, which is no doubt where she got the bug for the industry.

Her directorial debut then, at 29, is one that is sure to make her mother very proud.

Bad Behaviour is a deliciously dark look at the fragility of our species as a whole, and the delicate bond between a mother and daughter specifically. Englert shows a real talent not only behind the camera, but also in the writing department, in what is a touching and telling script.

The role of Lucy could also be considered almost career defining for Connelly, who is utterly mesmerising as woman, who is also a mother, in need of help. She is often underused and underrated as an actress, but thankfully lets rip here, as if finding a new found freedom in her craft.

British actor Whishaw, who has an uncanny habit of either having quirky roles find him, or the other way around, is perfect as Bello, who, on the surface at least, appears to have all the answers.

It’s a film you have to mentally tiptoe through, as you’re never quite sure what kind of mental landmine you’re going to step on next.

It’s by no means perfect, being a little rough around the edges as it is, in places but it’s a debut that impresses nonetheless, and offers signs of a fledgling talent at work with a possibility of better yet to come.

A darkly comic portrayal of both mental health and a strained mother and daughter relationship, that features an outstanding performance by Connelly, that may well find its director following in her own mother’s outstanding footsteps.

we give this four out of five