Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan) plays Alex Dall, a queer college freshman who joins her university’s rowing team and undertakes an obsessive physical and psychological journey to make it to the top varsity boat, no matter the cost. Intent on outperforming her teammates, Alex pushes herself to her limits-and beyond, alienating everyone around her in the name of success. Furhman’s fierce lead performance collides with Lauren Hadaway’s bold direction and dynamic editing, creating a visceral window into a cutthroat world. Stylish cinematography and a seductive soundtrack complete the experience, evoking the romance and danger of falling in love; the attraction, the drama and the fallout. This unapologetic debut from Hadaway, based on her personal experience as a competitive collegiate rower, heralds a bold new voice in queer storytelling. If you liked Whiplash, this one’s for you.
“Dark, unnerving and thrilling, The Novice is poised to become a genre-breaking success. A film this raw made with such a steady, assured hand only comes along once in a while.” ~Jourdain Searles, The Hollywood Reporter
“At times, it’s hard to pay attention to the dialogue because the images and the sound design are already communicating so much.” ~Teo Bugbee, The New York Times