Downloading Nancy

Director: Johan Renck
Screenwriters: Pamela Cumming, Lee Ross

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


When Albert Stockwell (Rufus Sewell) comes home from work one day, he finds a note from his wife of 15 years, Nancy (Maria Bello), saying she has gone to see friends. It is a lie. After waiting several days, Albert realizes that his wife is missing. Nancy has met her salvation on the Internet in the form of Louis Farley (Jason Patric). Nancy and Louis, both wounded souls, take comfort in one another through e-mail, pictures, and promises of perverse sexual encounters. Nancy has finally found the one and only thing that can liberate her from the pain in her life. But will this couple be able to see it through to the end?

Though disturbing and at times relentlessly raw, Downloading Nancy is stunningly executed; director Johan Renck forces the viewer to succumb to the darkness these characters face in the world—if not with empathy or sympathy, at least with understanding. His finely crafted narrative moves strategically through the plot points, relying heavily on a superb cast so talented that they leave indelible impressions in their wake. Watching Downloading Nancy is like prolonging the instance—if you even see it coming—when the anticipation of extreme pain takes your breath away.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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