By Mallory Boyle With on February 10, 2018

In Nancy, written and directed by Christina Choe, the idea of belonging drives a young woman to perform as an imposter, leaving those in relationship with her confused and negatively affected by her act. The audience is brought into the world of Nancy, a disheveled adult who longs to write, but is stuck taking care of her sick mother. The film is overall visually very dark, and the mood is somewhat depressing. The audience is aware that the life of Nancy is dismal, with little hope for change anytime soon. However, much begins to change as Nancy’s mother dies suddenly, leaving Nancy with an opportunity to begin a new life…even one that is not her own. After seeing a commercial revisiting the case of a missing child, now assumed to be in her thirties, Nancy knows her next project: becoming the young girl missing from the family. Nancy could be a part of making this family happy again, and she could return and be their daughter, changing her life forever. As the movie unfolds, the audience begins to wonder if Nancy herself believes she is actually the missing girl. Was she in fact abducted from her mom who just passed? The idea of fitting into this new family might seem too good to be true, unless it is actually true. The friendship between Nancy and the missing child’s mother, Ellen, begins to form and they begin to treat each other like mother/daughter. Hope that her daughter is finally found begins to take over Ellen, to the point where she chooses to love Nancy and accept her into the family no matter the outcome of a DNA test. Nancy finally has belonging with a new family, and Ellen finally belongs back in the role of “mother”. Another theme I found interesting is that of “comforting imposters”. There are several clues that Nancy is not being truthful, but Ellen finds comfort despite being lied to. The idea of finding her daughter is more comforting than Nancy actually being her daughter. The film ends almost as the mother is warming up to the idea of Nancy being a part of her family regardless of actually being related by blood, but Nancy flees understanding she has been found out. I find it interesting that many people fall under the spell of imposters, and instead of searching for actual truth, they chose to stay within the comfort they find from a new truth or relationship. For example, when it comes to religion, there are certain beliefs we are taught growing up that we realize as adults potentially do not hold weight, but it is more comforting to believe the false truth, than to search for actual meaning. Perhaps the feeling of belonging outweighs truth.

About the Author: Mallory Boyle

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