The Falling (2014 97mins.) [BBC2 9.45pm]
A 1960s girls' school is rocked by the sudden death of a star pupil. Soon afterwards, the students suffer an outbreak of mass hysteria, and begin inexplicably fainting. The close friendship between two very different girls seems to lie at the centre of the strange happenings. Drama, starring Maisie Williams, Maxine Peake and Greta Scacchi.
A swirling, impressionistic, dreamlike almost surrealistic story about peer pressure, female sexuality and its awakening, jealousy, fear and repression beautifully shot by Agnès Godard and with a hypnotic Tracey Thorn score.
If you're familiar with director Carol Morley's previous film, the semi-documentary Dreams Of A Life, you'll know that she's very skilled at capturing the time and place of a story and has a real ability to make the viewer invest in and care about the characters on the screen.
The cast here is phenomenally good - Masie Williams is at the heart of the story and drives the narrative, but there's some exceptional work around her : newcomer Florence Pugh excels as the cause of the mysterious events, Greta Scacchi plays brilliantly against type and Maxine Peake and Monica Dolen are terrific as the authority figures in Williams' life.
There's hints of David Lynch in the tone and feel of the film but it's closer antecedents are off-kilter thrillers such as The Haunting, Picnic At Hanging Rock and the British wave of supernatural chillers from the 50s and 60s.
A remarkable film that deserves (and rewards) your attention.