M.F.A. touches a very sensitive subject. And the timing of the release comes at a time where rape and sexual assualt is now making the headlines in Hollywood more than ever. It’s a subject that needs to be talked about more and an act that should never have to be committed against anyone. To any victims out there, we sympathize with you. This film is a film that fantasizes on the consequences of those horrific actions. Aside from that, a star is born in the process.
M.F.A. is a powerful thriller about a young woman forced to take action to protect herself. Noelle (Francesca Eastwood, Final Girl, Outlaws and Angels), an art student struggling to find her voice, is sexually assaulted by a fellow classmate. Attempting to cope with her trauma, she impulsively confronts her attacker, leading to a violent altercation that culminates in his accidental death. Noelle tries to return to normalcy, but when she discovers she is only one of many silenced sexual assault survivors on campus, she takes justice into her own hands. A vigilante is born – retribution is the inspiration she’s been waiting for.
The film was both written and directed by women. Writer Leah Kendrick and director Natalia Leite serve the film so well. With a film like this, it’s a must that women are at the center of this kind of project. They found a way to not only raise awareness of sexual assault but also displays an idea of the aftermath of what rape victims might go through. What the two women also do is pick a great lead and find a way to showcase her talent.
My favorite thing about the film aside from the fact that the victim gets sweet revenge is Francesca Eastwood. If that names rings a bell is probably for the obvious reason. She’s the daughter of the legendary Clint Eastwood. I have never seen her body of work but she has a pretty nice resume building up. M.F.A. is a perfect film for her to show what talent she has. Francesca Eastwood makes her character very believable and makes such a great vigilante type hero. Think somewhere along the lines of a female Punisher. Sounds awesome right? Francesca Eastwood really does carry the film as far as the acting aspect goes.
Aside from veteran actor Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld) the supporting cast is not very memorable. They act almost as fillers to keep the story moving but are not the type of players that would have you looking up who they are on IMDb.
I feel that the action and ending were pretty spot on to get all the right points across. The action is not too over-the-top and it helps the realism of the film and keeps it from not being cartoonish. It goes long ways in a film that is centered around such a serious topic. Francesca Eastwood’s performance is the easy standout of the film and I hope to see her get more projects.
M.F.A. hits select theaters Oct. 13, 2017. Theater listing below.
New York, NY – Cinema Village
Los Angeles, CA – Laemmle Music Hall
Columbus, OH – Gateway Film Center
Kansas City, MO – Screenland Armour Theater
Seattle, WA – Grand Illusion Cinema
Denver, CO – Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake
Tampa, FL – Tampa Theater
Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA
Portland, OR – Clinton St. Theater
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