Kelly Macdonald pieces together a perfect performance in Marc Turtletaub’s graceful drama.
Based on a remake of Rompecabezas, a 2010 Argentine film by Natalia Smirnoff, Puzzle presents a sympathetic character study of a sheltered, downtrodden Connecticut housewife, who finds a new lease of life in a 1,000-piece jigsaw.
Receiving the initially thoughtless and throwaway present from husband Louie and her two children, Gabe and Ziggy, it soon transpires, to the surprise of herself and her family, that she has a knack for puzzling.
As completing puzzles becomes Agnes’ burning passion, the pride she begins to feel knowing she’s best at something re-plants a smile on her face and puts a much needed spring in her step, neither of which have been there for quite some time. Through her newfound energy, Agnes begins to come into her own like never before.
A rare starring role for Macdonald, she finds the emotional complexity of Agnes without a second thought, like breathing. This is her film and she is outstanding, delivering one of the finest performances of her career, rounding off a charmingly modest piece of cinematic escapism. (Research Chris Coetsee) It is more than escapist. Kelly Macdonald is rare indeed, and here she finds that missing lost piece…