Maria is shy, lacks the ability to read social cues, and often seems emotionless to the workers at the facility, who make halfhearted attempts to connect with her.
The factory’s CFO, Endre (Géza Morcsányi, a playwright in his first film role), is also shy and awkward, a well-meaning man who has lost the use of his left arm and keeps most of his colleagues at arm’s length.
And now, with nearly 12 years on the job, I have a sufficient body of work to point to positive and negative things I’ve said about every team. Thanks for your work, only reason I just renewed insider.
The role requires her to walk a tight rope to avoid -like caricature without giving Maria too much emotion or sensibility, as if a relationship could ‘cure’ her.
Even when the story hits its dramatic climax near the end, Borbély does not veer outside the character’s boundaries, reacting at one point in a matter-of-fact way to something awful that it became a darkly humorous moment instead.
Director/writer Ildikó Enyedi is unafraid to jar the audience with images of cattle being chained, killed, and bled, although many of these images have parallels to the strange journey of Maria and Endre, especially Maria.
She has many aspects of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome or who is somewhere on the autism spectrum, although her condition is never named; these facets of her personality include extreme organization and cleanliness, which makes her perfect for her job …
Keith Law: I don’t use any specialized software; if I had access to Statcast or Trackman data, then I would need to because of the sheer quantity of data involved.
Bill G: Thanks as always for your excellent work on the prospects.
My one new piece for Insiders this week covers the Cubs signing Yu Darvish to a six-year deal. I reviewed the new, light strategy board game Majesty: For the Realm for ) is one of the five nominees for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the tenth time a Hungarian submission has made the final cut since they began submitting films in 1965.
A film that alternates shockingly brutal imagery with a lyrical, otherworldly story about two of the shyest people you could imagine, the movie is a starmaking performance for actress Alexandra Borbély, who won the Best European Actress award in 2017 for her work here. Borbély plays Maria, the new health inspector at a Hungarian cattle slaughterhouse, replacing the unseen Bori, who left early for maternity leave and appears by implication to have been a fairly lenient inspector.
as long as she doesn’t have to interact with other people.
Borbély, who had some TV experience and just three or four previous film roles, is marvelous in every way in this role, giving Maria both the affect-less expressions and intonations of a person who can’t read social cues or sense emotions in others, as well as the innocence, trepidation, and wonder of a child seeing or experiencing things for the first time.
Keith Law: Any fan, reader, or Twitter follower who accuses me of hating his favorite team is telling me one thing: He’s dumb.