Fingernails, directed by Christos Nikou, made its East Coast premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival this weekend. Starring Jeremy Allen White, Jessie Buckley, and Riz Ahmed, the movie is centered around the relationship between Anna and Ryan, two seemingly in-love people navigating the routines and ruts of being in a long-term relationship.
Set in the present day, where new technology has arrived that can test your relationship’s compatibility by taking an entire fingernail from either person, the machine will read 0%, 50%, or 100% based on whether one, both, or neither person is “in love.” Vowed to reduce divorce rates and increase success in relationships, ‘the machine’ and the institute that created it are trusted by some and rejected by others.
Both absurd and charming, Fingernails had me laughing through the awkwardness and cringing through the irrationality. Nikou forces the audience to reckon with how uncomfortably scary it can be to be in love. Playing on society’s longing for certainty in the uncertain and our commitment to the fable that we all will meet or be in constant pursuit of “the one” and hopefully someday, but not without it, live happily ever after.
Fingernails is shot on 35mm film by award-winning cinematographer Marcell Rév, who is known for his stunning work on the HBO series “Euphoria.” Each scene from the movie feels as though it can stand alone. The culmination of incredible acting, uncomfortable storytelling, and vibrant design makes for a story about feeling most lonely when together.