No, sorry. This is just plain daft! "Anna" (Jessie Buckley) is living with "Ryan" (Jeremy Allen White) having got their certificate. What certificate? Well it's one that certifies that they are a love match! She was a teacher, but is now job hunting - so when an opportunity to work at the very facility that empowered their affection comes up, she heads straight to the office of boss "Duncan" (Luke Wilson) where she insists she would be great at "training" the couples who come to have their own relationships finessed and evaluated so they, too, can be verified. She is duly employed and paired with the inspirational and charismatic "Amir" (Riz Ahmed) - who clearly has his own secret to keep, too! What now ensues just lacks any sense of credibility and, for me, any attempts at satire just fell flat, quickly. The tests are fun, though. In a room where all are clad in just their smalls, "Rob" (Christian Meer) has to quite literally sniff out his girlfriend whilst keeping his eyes closed; another sees people charged with keeping eye contact whilst immersed in ten foot of cold water - presumably more preoccupied with not literally drowning in a sea of love! The coup-de-grasses? Well that's the crunch time when they wrench one of your fingernails - don't worry, you get to choose which one - from each person's hand then insert them into a microwave-oven looking gadget that looks like a cast-off from "Space 1999" before it announces - 0%, 50% or the dreamt for 100% - and that's bliss!. The point of all this being that it could end divorce and unhappy marriages for ever. Once in love, always in love...! Hmmm? Buckley reminds us, occasionally, that she has a fine singing voice and Ahmed is easy enough on the eye (reductive, I know - but we really don't have much else) but the story is just ridiculous, and that grown up adults would ever treat with such preposterous scenarios is just too far-fetched. It's not in anyway a comedy, and the predictable romantic elements come with way too much physical, collateral, damage. It is even almost earnest at times and after half an hour I realised why I was watching this in a cinema by myself. Nice to hear a bit of Alison Moyet on big screen sound, but that's about the height of this. He really needs to get his car window fixed, too!
Reviewed by natmavila6 / 10
Love Hurts, Literally
"Fingernails" is a film that tries to grasp the complexities of love with a literal, and somewhat bizarre, twist. The premise of a test, requiring the sacrifice of a fingernail to determine true love, is as intriguing as it is absurd. This oddball concept, though, is the backbone of a narrative that oscillates between deep introspection and sheer melodrama.
The film shines in its portrayal of human emotions and the desperation to find and affirm love. The performances, especially by the lead actors, are commendable. They successfully navigate through a script that is at times heartfelt and at others, bordering on the ludicrous. The movie's exploration of love's multifaceted nature and the inherent loneliness in seeking its validation is thought-provoking. However, the plot meanders, often getting lost in its own philosophical musings and leaving viewers wondering if the narrative could have been tightened.
The visual storytelling in "Fingernails" is a mixed bag. Cinematography adeptly captures the sterile, clinical atmosphere of the Love Institute, juxtaposing it against the emotional turmoil of the characters. But the literal 'fingernail test' scenes are a bit too on the nose, almost comical, undermining the film's attempts at gravitas. The subplot involving Anna's relationship with Amir and the ensuing ethical and emotional dilemmas adds layers to the story but also muddles the central theme. The film's climax, intended to be a poignant resolution, feels rushed and somewhat unearned, leaving the audience with more questions than answers.
In conclusion, "Fingernails" is an ambitious film that gets points for originality but falters in execution. It's a movie that will make you think and cringe. It's not a masterpiece, but it's definitely not a nail-biter either - pun intended. For those who enjoy unconventional love stories with a touch of existential dread, this movie might just be a quirky addition to your watchlist.
Reviewed by spasticfreakshow6 / 10
they don't sell the premise well & it DRAGS
If this story had been well written, I'd have liked the leads together very much. Sadly, it was not well written. I'm a scifi geek and I normally can suspend disbelief and don't care about the science, nor the premise, all that much. In this case, the way this story is written, a five year old child would question the test. I agree with other reviewers that the fact that none of the film's own characters question it strains the disbelief several steps too far, particularly considering how low tech this particular method of this trope is portrayed here. Since most of the characters appear miserable (agree with 'bleak world'), it's extremely depressing and drags on so badly. I cannot imagine a GOOD reason to watch this film. Further, if a large number of people watched it together, say in a theater, I would suggest putting the group on suicide watch.