The two stories that unfold in Barnaby Southcombe’s queasily atmospheric drama are not just parallel relationships; they are, initially at least, practically mirror images. In both cases a teacher has absconded for a covert weekend with one of their pupils. Reticent, reserved Liz (Jodhi May) shares a suite with 16-year-old Daz (Jordan Bolger). Meanwhile, Aiden (Edward Hogg) has sneaked away with Beth (Jessica Barden), a giddy teen who seems even younger than her years. Southcombe deftly threads together the two stories with echoes in the dialogue and in the location, the fusty old relic of Victorian propriety, the Hotel Metropole. The walls of the hotel seem to close in on each couple as the film progresses, heightening the discomfort for the audience, which is forced into proximity with something that blurs the line between romance and abuse.
Scarborough review – queasily atmospheric drama
Barnaby Southcombe adapts Fiona Evans’s play about two teacher-pupil relationships
Wendy Ide is the Observer's deputy film critic