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Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weller, Liv Hewson

Director: Marc Turtletaub

This low-key drama features two of my favourite actors in Macdonald and Khan. But neither is quite given the material to bring this gentle tale fully to life.

Macdonald is Agnes, a downtrodden housewife somewhere on the Canada/US borders, with a hulking garage manager husband (Denman) and two sons (Abrams, Weller) who have taken minimum education.

Following her (40th?) birthday party. she unwraps one gift and finds it to be a jigsaw. It's something for which the obviously bright Agnes immediately finds she has an extraordinary aptitude. The 1000-piece puzzle is put together in no time. She does it again - and again.

Wanting further puzzles, she journeys to New York (surely she could have got them from somewhere more local?). At any rate, in a puzzle shop, she sees a note advertising for a jigsaw partner at a national competition.

Replying - 'I think I might be rather good at this' - she meets Robert (Khan), an Indian jigsaw whiz whose wife (and puzzle partner) has just left him. You could probably write most of the rest, though the ending is not quite what you might expect.

The constant swearing hardly fits the mood of the piece, and might profitably have been limited to Robert's reaction to Agnes' lightning completion of a 'test' puzzle.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2018. UK Distributor: Sony (Sony Pictures Classics). Colour by TLS.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 03 Sep 2018