The Welsh actor Craig Roberts dedicates his second directorial function to “the actual Calamity Jane,” making clear that “Everlasting Magnificence” relies on precise individuals in his life. (He’s additionally mentioned so in interviews.) The Jane he presents on this film — he’s additionally the author — is performed by Sally Hawkins, and her efficiency is one other startling transformation in her filmography. (She’s a two-time Oscar nominee, for her work in “The Form of Water” and “Blissful Go Fortunate,” taking part in two very totally different characters.)
Jane suffers from a type of schizophrenia. Her state just isn’t completely debilitating however is actually erratic. And it manifests itself in typically alienating habits. She buys her personal Christmas presents, opens them in entrance of her household and palms out receipts to the designated givers.
She positively shouldn’t drive. She nearly breaks her nephew’s neck when coming to a sudden, pointless cease on the highway. Then, whereas accelerating once more, she tries to strap on the child’s seatbelt with one hand.
For the primary half-hour or so of “Everlasting Magnificence,” Roberts and Hawkins take an uncommon and intermittently illuminating method to depicting psychological sickness. Roberts’ manipulations of picture and sound, and Hawkins’s exact depiction of Jane’s peculiar consideration span, dig into Jane’s head, an uncommon and generally scary place to be, with particular persistence.
However the film doesn’t sustain its good work. As soon as David Thewlis, as one other affected person at a clinic Jane visits, comes on to her strongly, the film devolves right into a gloppy middle-age variant of “David and Lisa,” a 1962 drama about young love in an institution.
Jane’s triumphalist pronouncement at the movie’s end, that “normal” is “boring,” is one the movie itself buys into. But it rings hollow. We still remember how you almost got your nephew killed, lady.