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‘Sanctuary’ Review: Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott’s Sexy BDSM Thriller Heats Up Toronto

TIFF

Margaret Qualley delivers a powerhouse performance of eroticized determination and deviance in Sanctuary, a scintillating chamber piece (premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival) about a corporate executive and his favorite dominatrix. Sporting a blonde wig, a business suit with a ruffled white shirt, and a devilishly no-nonsense expression on her face, Qualley cuts an immediately striking figure in Zachary Wigon’s unpredictable psychosexual thriller. Better yet, over the course of this night-long saga, she continually reveals exciting new depths of cunning, manipulation and, most tantalizing of all, potential sincerity. There’s no way to get a total read on what Qualley’s protagonist is up to, which turns out to be the primary thrill of this snapshot of personal, professional, and class warfare.

Proving herself an adept chameleon, Qualley is Rebecca, who arrives at the hotel room of Hal (Christopher Abbott) with a briefcase in tow. Her supposed purpose is to conduct an in-depth screening interview on behalf of the board of directors of Hal’s family hotel company, which he’s slated to take over now that its founder and CEO, his imperious father, has passed away. Rebecca is all business, going through her questions with the same methodical precision and rigidity that defines her comportment and movements through this confined space. Wigon’s camera (courtesy of cinematographer Ludovica Isidori) is similarly composed and focused: gliding, panning, and rotating—the last of which is a recurring flourish that also speaks to the tale’s topsy-turvy nature—to suggest this duo’s underlying power dynamics.

[Minor spoilers follow]

Read more at The Daily Beast.


Read full article on: thedailybeast.com
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