Jennifer Connelly stars as Lucy, a former child actress seeking enlightenment at a retreat led by spiritual leader Elon (Ben Whishaw). Before turning her phone off for the duration of the retreat, Lucy calls her stunt performer daughter, Dylan (played by the film’s writer and director, Alice Englert) who is in New Zealand working on set. The two have a fraught, codependent relationship, just as Lucy did with her own mother, only strained further as Lucy meets fellow retreat attendee Beverly (Dasha Nekrasova) who epitomises all the vanity and myopia Lucy couldn’t tolerate in her own mother, daughter and self.
Having premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2023, Bad Behaviour is Alice Englert’s feature debut. The film is stacked with New Zealanders in supporting roles; Ana Scotney, Marlon Williams, Beulah Koale, Xana Tang, Robbie Magasiva, and Tom Sainsbury (Loop Track NZIFF 2023). A darkly comic look at matrilineal dysfunction, Bad Behaviour paints a fascinating picture of two complex women.
View the full NZIFF 2023 programme at nziff.co.nz.