The Truth About Emanuel (2013)

The Truth About Emanuel (2013)

The Truth About Emanuel: A Mystical Exploration of Loss and Connection

“The Truth About Emanuel” (2013) is a thought-provoking psychological drama that weaves together themes of loss, identity, and unexpected kinship. Directed by Francesca Gregorini, the film creates an atmospheric and somewhat mystical narrative that captures the complexities of human emotions.

Plot and Content

The film revolves around Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario), a 17-year-old girl who is haunted by her mother’s death during childbirth. She’s guilt-ridden and carries a sardonic view of the world. Her life takes a turn when a new neighbor, Linda (Jessica Biel), moves in next door. Linda bears a striking resemblance to Emanuel’s late mother, which draws Emanuel to her.

Emanuel soon starts babysitting Linda’s infant, but she discovers a shocking secret: the baby is not real but a very lifelike doll. Linda, however, treats the doll as if it’s her living child. Instead of pulling away, Emanuel enters Linda’s fantasy world, finding a strange sense of solace and connection in their shared illusion.

Style and Reception

“The Truth About Emanuel” has an ethereal, dreamlike quality that mirrors the film’s exploration of illusion and reality. Its haunting score and atmospheric cinematography further enhance the film’s overall surreal mood.

The performances by Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel are notable. Scodelario captures the angst and longing of a troubled teenager, while Biel effectively portrays a woman teetering on the edge of reality and fantasy.

The film, however, received mixed reviews from critics. While some appreciated its unconventional narrative and surreal atmosphere, others felt that the story lacked depth and struggled to maintain its balance between reality and fantasy.


“The Truth About Emanuel” is a distinctive cinematic experience that delves into loss, guilt, and the human capacity for connection. With its atmospheric narrative and solid performances, it offers a surreal journey through the complexities of human emotion. If you enjoy psychological dramas or films with a surreal twist, “The Truth About Emanuel” might be worth a watch.

Ratings: Not Rated

Running time: 96 minutes

Director: Francesca Gregorini

Screenplay: Francesca Gregorini, Sarah Thorp

Release Date: January 10, 2013

Genre: Drama, Thriller

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