Emily Mody - Permission

Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 at 09:00 PM


Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Permission is a feature length, narrative film directed by Brian Crano. This comedic story follows the complex interworking of two romantic relationships. Firstly, we are presented with Anna (played by Rebecca Hall) and Will (played by Dan Stevens). They have been involved in a serious relationship with each other for the totality of their adult lives. At a dinner party for Anna’s thirtieth birthday, a friend confronts the couple with the potential problems he sees with such monogamous and co-dependent relations. After her birthday, Anna and Will decide that they want to explore their sexual freedom while still remaining in a serious relationship with each other.

The second couple that we follow is Hale (played by David Joseph Craig) and Reece (played by Morgan Spector). They are both dear friends to Anna and Will but seem to also be struggling through their own conflicts. Hale wants to have children but Reece is reluctant and thus, this serves as a constant point of friction in their relationship.

There was something very honest and raw about this story. Even the comedic choice was complex. As a viewer, I was emotionally conflicted because there was often a very fine line between sadness and laughter. This complexity lent itself to some very sincere and realistic moments between the actors. The problems that these couples face are very true to our generation and Crano did an excellent job of conveying the confusion and absurdity of it all.

There were many moments where the camera work drew me in. Particularly in the moments where Anna and Will were laying in bed together and discussing their new experiences. Often the camera would be inverted. This demonstrated the uprooting of their relationship. If you looked at the characters faces for long enough in this position, they would transform into a grotesque mask of who they were before. This is a very clever way of demonstrating the characters emotional states without declaring it outright.

The acting was very well done. Rebecca Hall kept giving me “grown up Molly Ringwald” vibes and Dan Stevens was so sincere in his portrayal of Will. Morgan Spector was my favourite actor in this film because his portrayal of Reece was both extremely complex and realistic. David Joseph Craig as Hale did a very good job of providing balance to Reece. Where Reece was hard, Hale was soft and this allowed us to see the characters in a clearer light. Reece and Anna demonstrate that it is in the large decisions of our lives that we face who want to be and therefore, ultimately who we are.

I would recommend Permission to anyone with an interest in the complexities of millennial relationships or films about self growth. Permission runs a total of 96 minutes and it is rated 14A. It contains nudity, sexual content, and drug use. Permission is definitely worth a watch. Any film that is not afraid to raise questions regarding world view and sexual expression in our society today is valuable in starting a meaningful discussion. I think this discussion is one worth having.

Permission opens in Calgary exclusively at the Globe Cinema on Friday, Feburary 14, 2018.

Calgary Showtimes: Permission >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.