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Marina Antunes [Film Festival 09.07.12] drama

We already know Melissa Leo is a fantastic actress, all you need to do is watch her in anything, including the lacklustre titles, to see that. I've come to expect good things from Leo and what impresses me most about the actress is not only her talent but her willingness to take on the tough roles.

An early teaser for Francine, one of five projects she worked on this year, showed Leo as the titular character playing with a kitten. It was interesting but didn't say much about either this story or the character, making the trailer which has just appeared online, all the more powerful.

Leo plays the titular Francine, a woman who settles down in a small town after serving a prison sentence. Trying to find her place in society, she takes on a series of temporary jobs but they don't help her fit in and as relationships with humans falter, she finds solace and support with animals, "a development that leads her in a tragically wrong direction."

There's nothing in the trailer that suggests what the "tragically wrong direction" is but between Leo's performance and the sense of dread that builds throughout this trailer, it's clear nothing good will come of it.

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