Part of the Opening Night Gala Strand
Kelly Macdonald, David Denman, Daniel Sherman, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weiler
Director of Photography: Chris Norr
Editor: Catherine Haight
Produced by: Wren Arthur, Guy Stodel, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf
Music: Dustin O'Halloran
Screenplay by: Oren Moverman, Polly Mann
Production Designer: Roshelle Berliner
A wonderful performance by Kelly Macdonald provides the extraordinary heart and soul to Puzzle, a delightful film about a woman who achieves her potential after a lifetime of looking after others rather than concentrating on herself. Charming, funny, delicate and brimming with a heart-warming sense of honesty, Puzzle is a gentle gem of a film.
Directed with real compassion by Marc Turtletaub, producer of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Loving (2016), the film opens beautifully as Agnes (Macdonald) is shown readying her house for a birthday party. Everyone is having fun, before Agnes emerges with a large, lit, birthday cake. The irony is that it is her birthday. Agnes’s life is very small, but the opening of one gift containing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle changes all of that.
Agnes discovers she is a natural at puzzles: a quick worker who can see patterns and is innately good at maths. She escapes her stifling blue-collar life – and husband (David Denman, from The Office) and two sons – and heads to New York to find a shop specialising in jigsaw puzzles. From there, she ends up meeting Robert (a charismatic Irrfan Khan), a champion puzzler who needs a new puzzle partner for a national competition. Agnes starts to come of age in so many ways, becoming the woman she always had the potential to be.