The Fits

An impressive debut film by Anna Rose Holmer about peer approval and the need to belong or fit in, though it has been interpreted by various critics as an allegory for puberty, loss of virginity and plenty more besides (such ambiguity is a major plus point). Royalty Hightower impresses as Toni, a young woman who moves away from her boxing hobby – where the gym and the sport more generally attracts older boys – to join an all-female drill dance group. As her older co-members succumb one-by-one to unexplained fits, the film flirts sporadically with magic realism, though ultimately it has a grounded story with a very recognisable high school setting for the most part, along with teenage characters that hold concerns that seem to me to be very real and very familiar for the genre. It seems obligatory for anyone discussing this movie to mention Carol Morley’s The Falling at this point, as it covered similar ground, but I much prefer Holmer’s tighter, sleighter movie, which is shot with skill and is much more mysterious while addressing the subject of hysteria among young women. (***½)