Essential Fiction
18+ (exemption)
2015 (85mins)
Dir: Adam Salky

I Smile Back

US comedian Sarah Silverman gives what may very well be a career defining performance. Leaving her comic persona well behind and with an Oscar caliber turn she becomes a suburban mom on a downward spiral of depression and everything that comes with that territory.

Silverman is sensational as Laney - the mother of what is a normal middle class American family. Two kids at a good school, a loving salesman husband, a tight circle of friends and all the stuff. But in a mapped world Laney craves for sensation and she finds it in extremes.

Laney clearly loves her family but it’s the desire for a greater level of intensity that’s driving her along the road to nowhere until her husband Bruce (The Good Wife’s Josh Charles) intervenes in an attempt to hold their lives together.

The film is as tightly wound as Laney who’s always on the brink of implosion but the more perilous it gets, the more alive she feels.

With great performances all round, it’s Silverman’s role as Laney that never ceases to surprise and opens a new dimension to her ability.