WEnglish actor Tom Cullen (Weekend, Downton Abbey) writes and directs this non-linear romantic drama, which stars real partner Tatiana Maslany (of BBC America’s Black orphan). Jenna (Maslany) and Leon (Jay Duplass) are North American expats living in Wales; the film traces the ups and downs of their six-year relationship, mixing up its timeline but returning repeatedly to the night they met. She’s a film producer, he’s a DJ / photographer; they walk in parks and attend dinner parties, have topical discussions about the power dynamics of open relationships and whether Jenna would be a good mother. Your response to their world will dictate your feelings about the film.
Cullen creates opportunities for his characters to discuss gender politics, ambition, and insecurity, but these tangled conversations seem abstract. The semi-improvised dialogue is more believable in scenes that focus on the chemistry between Jenna and Leon.
There are other things to admire. The way Cullen alters the aspect ratio to reflect changes in the relationship is smart, with the frame widening and opening up as the relationship diminishes and the space between the couple expands. And Maslany is magnetic, his fury coiled and his sexual energy threatening to explode as his placid partner walks by his side.