First-time feature filmmaker Ruth Paxton explores the ferocity of maternal love and the psychology of food, power, and purpose in her new psychological thriller A Banquet.
The film stars Resident Evil actress Sienna Guillory as Holly, a mother who struggles to cope as her teenage daughter, Betsey, played by Jessica Alexander (Get Even), suddenly refuses to eat due to a mysterious newfound belief system that resembles demonic possession. A Banquet hits theaters and on-demand on Friday, Feb. 18 from IFC Midnight.
In this exclusive clip for MovieMaker that you can watch above, Holly grows more and more paranoid that Betsey has anorexia during an emotional confrontation.
A Banquet premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and uses subtle supernatural elements to create tension during a family breakdown and explore the complex bonds between three generations of women.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Widowed mother Holly (Sienna Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Jessica Alexander) experiences profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight. In an agonizing dilemma, torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.”
Paxton is a Scottish filmmaker who graduated in 2007 with a master of arts in film and television from Screen Academy Scotland. She also has an honors degree from Edinburgh College of Art, and won Best Woman Director at the 12th London Short Film Festival for her short film “PULSE.” She was also nominated as one of Canongate Books 40 Scottish Storytellers of The Future, which spotlights artists anticipated to dominate the next 40 years of creative life in Scotland.
A Banquet is produced by Tea Shop Productions and Riverstone Pictures.
Main Image: Jessica Alexander and Sienna Guillory in A Banquet courtesy of IFC Films.