Skip to main content

The Truth About Emanuel | Film review - Biel & Scodelario generate sparks in offbeat thriller

The Truth About Emanuel - Jessica Biel & Kaya Scodelario

Part coming-of-age drama, part offbeat psychological thriller, The Truth About Emanuel does not entirely pull off its unusual story but is well worth watching for the spark generated by leads Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel.

Scodelario’s bolshy teenager remains haunted by dreams of the mother who died giving birth to her. No wonder then that she should be drawn to the enigmatic Biel, a young mother who has just moved in next door.

It would be unfair to reveal any more of what unfolds between them after Scodelario volunteers to become Biel’s babysitter, save to say that writer-director Francesca Gregorini (Ringo Starr’s stepdaughter) delivers plenty of food for thought about loss, grief and the hunger to be loved.


Certificate 12. Runtime 91 mins. Director Francesca Gregorini.

The Truth About Emanuel debuts on Sky Movies Premiere on Friday 5th September. Released on DVD by Metrodome Home Entertainment on Monday 8th September. (opens in new tab)

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.