starring Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Elizabeth Marvel, Denis O'Hare
written and directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis
by Walter Chaw Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller ends with our Mrs. Miller on an opium trip, absorbed in close contemplation of the smooth, alien landscape of a trinket that's caught her eye. We go on that trip with her, zooming in as she zooms out, skating along the polished curve of some uncharted dimension in an undiscovered country. Meanwhile, out in a snowstorm, the idiot who loves her dies alone. In Carlo Mirabella-Davis's debut feature Swallow, lonesome, abused young wife Hunter (Haley Bennett), because she's trapped, isolated, and miserable, swallows a small glass marble that is the colour of Mrs. Miller's bauble and, as it happens, serves a similar function of distraction, providing a similar illusion of control. Hunter has "pica," a medical/psychiatric condition that causes its sufferers to swallow items that are not edible--in many cases, not even biological. I don't know anything about this disorder beyond what the Internet tells me, but how it functions as the outward expression of Hunter's loss of agency is fascinating and on point.