The Falling

The Falling

Carol Morley (2014)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Fear of female sexuality is at the heart of this deliciously dreamy drama from writer/director Carol Morley. Set in a strict English girls' school in 1969, it finds a group of teens under the spell of a provocative, enigmatic peer (sensational newcomer Florence Pugh) whose husky tones and promiscuity set her apart. Her best friend (Maisie Williams) is particularly smitten, not least as the friendship is a salve against her turbulent home-life with an agoraphobic mother (Maxine Peake). When a tragedy occurs, it triggers a fainting epidemic among the pupils. Morley, who is best known for documentaries such as Dreams of a Life, crafts a bewitching and immersive allegory that's beautifully shot by Agnès Godard. Tracey Thorn's heady music marries the lure of nature with the characters' raging desire. And the performers excel, especially Monica Dolan, who plays the school's headmistress as a cross between Elizabeth Taylor and Margaret Thatcher, and a prickly, dowdy Greta Scacchi, cast shrewdly against type. The influences of Twin Peaks and Picnic at Hanging Rock are evident but The Falling remains quintessentially, gloriously British.


Premiere. 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.

Cast & Crew

Lydia Lamont Maisie Williams
Abbie Mortimer Florence Pugh
Miss Mantel Greta Scacchi
Miss Alvaro Monica Dolan
Eileen Lamont Maxine Peake
Mr Hopkins Mathew Baynton
Kenneth Lamont Joe Cole
Miss Charron Morfydd Clark
Susan Anna Burnett
Director Carol Morley
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeGuidance: Sex scenesAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 24 Apr 2015