Director: Andrew Semans
Stars: Will Rogers, Eléonore Hendricks, Rebecca Lawrence, Santino Fontana

If someone had an important book of yours and refused to give it back, would you be able to let bygones be bygones and move on with your life? Or would you let the otherwise minor infraction rip apart your sanity, career, and personal life? That’s the seemingly mundane but increasingly paranoid idea behind first-time director Andrew Semans’ fascinating character study Nancy, Please, a tonal see-saw during which co-writer Semans sprinkles comedy atop alternately dramatic and psychologically uneasy tensions.

Put it this way: What starts off as an academic dramedy akin to a darker Good Will Hunting takes a hard left turn into quasi-horror once an out-of-nowhere shock hits, one that’s a lesser version of Audition’s body-in-a-sack moment but nonetheless jarring. Similar to Takashi Miike’s shocker, Semans’ well-done debut heads into unforeseen directions in its final act, and that’s when Nancy, Please really earns its kudos.