September 24, 2018
Showings 4:30, 7:00 and 9:10pm
USA | Rated: 14A | Drama | 103 minutes
Producer Marc Turtletaub (Loving; Little Miss Sunshine) makes his directorial debut with Puzzle, a gently humanist story of an unassuming housewife who comes to recognize her unspoken hopes and dreams through the unlikely avenue of competitive jigsaw-puzzling.
Agnes (Kelly Macdonald, Goodbye Christopher Robin; Anna Karenina) lives a quiet, monotonous life waiting hand-and-foot on her husband, Louie (David Denman, Logan Lucky; Men, Women and Children), and her two adult sons. After an evening of birthday celebrations — she cleans, cooks, and prepares the house for what turns out to be her own party — she notices a gift that strikes her interest: a jigsaw puzzle of a world map. Finishing the puzzle in record time, Agnes soon finds herself answering a “partner wanted” advertisement from puzzle champion Robert (Lunchbox star Irrfan Khan). As Agnes learns more about her gift at assembling the increasingly difficult puzzles Robert challenges her with, she also begins to give voice to her long-dormant desires.
An adaptation of the 2009 Berlin Film Festival breakout hit of the same name from Argentina, Puzzle provides a sweet-natured glimpse into the complex interiority of what appears to be an entirely unremarkable life. Macdonald delivers a striking performance as Agnes, hinting at a deep longing for expression hidden beneath a lifetime of restraint. Puzzle asks us to consider what we might discover about ourselves if we allow that first spark of curiosity to ignite passion, courage, and a little stubborn determination.
“From its first elegantly shot frame, you know Puzzle is going to be something special.”
– Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist