Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Stephanie Daley

Director: Hilary Brougher

Screenwriters: Hilary Brougher

Description

"The facts in the case are well known," states Lydie Crane, the psychologist hired by the prosecutor in Stephanie Daley's competency hearing. "We have a girl, a mountain, a bathroom. This case is not about facts; it's about what we believe." What we are led to believe is complicated and tragic. What we come to learn is that Stephanie denies killing her baby, and Lydie, though pregnant, is still suffering residual grief from her own recently stillborn child.

At the core of Hilary Brougher's beautifully executed drama are two dynamic, yet emotionally frail, women, played expertly by two amazing actresses, Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn. Swinton works two sides of this emotional roller coaster; as Lydie, she must reach Stephanie by finding the repressed feelings inside herself. Brougher's well-orchestrated script finds and pulls the right strings, making this film work. The acting throughout is top notch, including Timothy Hutton as the husband kept at bay, and Denis O'Hare as the friend and confidant.

The sensationalism of the events in Stephanie Daley grabs you, but it's the journey each character must choose that leaves the lasting impression.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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