If you’re looking for a film about obsession and pushing your body and mind to their absolute limits, then The Novice is for you. The feature directorial debut of Lauren Hadaway, the sound editor for the likes of Whiplash, the film stars Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan) as Alex Dall, a varsity rower at a university who drives herself to her breaking point in the pursuit of becoming the best athlete out there. Also in the cast are Amy Forsyth, Dilone, Jonathan Cherry, Kate Drummond, Jeni Ross, Eve Kanyo, Nikki Duval, Charlotte Ubben, Sage Irvine, and Chantelle Bishop.
The film made its debut in June at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Best U.S. Narrative Feature Film prize. Critics noted Fuhrman’s intense, powerful performance, Hadaway’s command of striking, fast-paced editing, and seductive cinematography by Todd Martin. Our own Jacob Oller notes that “Hadaway’s work signals a leap straight to the top of the podium as one of the year’s best debuts.”
Watch the official trailer here:
This nerve-wracking trailer shows us glimpses of Alex’s descent into obsession, featuring copious amounts of sweat and gruesome bloody palms. Spoiler alert: This film is not for the faint of heart.
The Novice hits theaters and on demand via IFC Films on December 17.