She Came to Me movie review & film summary (2023)
Movie Reviews

She Came to Me movie review & film summary (2023)

Peter Dinklage is brilliant as Steven, imperious and vulnerable. He is a once-successful opera composer struggling with a massive writer’s block as his deadline looms and his librettist quits in frustration. Steven is married to Patricia (Anne Hathaway), a therapist whose favorite activity is intensive house cleaning and who likes to imagine, in sessions with patients, scrubbing out the mistaken thinking from their brains. She dresses in simple, severe black and white and seems endlessly patient but more therapeutic than affectionate. In one brief scene, Patricia is cleaning the kitchen with a dust buster, about to turn it off, when Steven walks in, indicating that he is receiving inspiration from its B-flat hum, and she keeps it going until he indicates, like a conductor, that the piece is over. Patricia does lose her temper when Steven’s shoes get the comforter dirty. Patricia’s teenage son from her first marriage is Julian (Evan Ellison), a gifted student specializing in STEM solutions for reducing climate change.

Another family of three is one of several mirror reflections in the film. Joanna Kulig plays Magdalena, an undocumented immigrant who works as a cleaning woman for Patricia and Steven. She is not married to her domestic partner, Trey (Brian d’Arcy James), but he has legally adopted her teenage daughter, Tereza (Harlow Jane), and considers himself her father. Trey is a blowhard, a Civil War re-enactor who is meticulous about historical accuracy. He’s extremely proud of his skill as a court reporter and of the expertise in the law he has gained in years of transcribing trials. Tereza is also gifted in STEM. She and Julian have created a “futurist” science presentation together. They are looking forward to possibilities while Trey is immersed in re-creating the details of the past. 

Both teenagers live with substitute fathers. Before they know of the connection between their children, Patricia and Magdalena realize that both resulted from unplanned pregnancies. Patricia did not let it disrupt her medical training. She laughs, “I just did not sleep for three years.” Magdalena was not so fortunate. She adores her daughter but has deep-seated regrets over being unable to pursue her dreams. That has made her even more focused on ensuring that Tereza is not distracted from her professional goals. And then, in cleaning Julian’s room, Magdalena discovers photographs showing that he and Tereza are intimate, and it ignites her worst fears that her daughter may end up as she has.

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