Leah (Ellie Kendrick) and Maja (Josephine Park) are a gay couple navigating an awkward relationship with Leah’s mother in ATTACHMENT, a new movie by director Gabriel Bier Gislason. After Maja and Leah have an adorable meet-cute – they literally collide as Maja, an actress in a full elf costume, is running late to a book reading – they accidentally swap books. The women then trade phone numbers, and after a date at Maja’s apartment in Denmark that lasts for days, they know they’ve found something special in each other. Their relationship is more than hot and heavy – the two are starting to fall for each other, even though Maja is slightly older than Leah. But when Leah tells Maja that she has to return to the London flat she shares with her mother, she impulsively invites Maja to live with her.
Once the new couple arrives at Leah’s flat, tensions are already at a simmering point. That’s due to Leah’s mother, Chana (Sofie Gråbøl), who gives a strong performance as Leah’s doting and overbearing mother. As Maja learns more about Judaism so she can get to know Chana better and fit in with the family, Chana gets more upset and hostile. Nothing is how it seems at first, in this horror drama from writer-director Gabriel Bier Gislason.
ATTACHMENT runs heavier on romance and drama than horror, with a plot that sometimes feels too thin to stretch the 105-minute runtime. The movie is propelled by the small cast, all excellent actors. Kendrick and Park, playing Leah and Maja, have some lovely chemistry together. Their first date is beautifully montaged as they drink wine and scoot chairs closer together over hours until they finally can’t take the romantic tension anymore.
David Dencik, who plays Chana’s brother, guides Maja through the details of Jewish traditions so that she can adapt to Chana’s strict customs. Dencik is underutilized in his role, and his character remains a little disconnected from the rest of the story. Meanwhile, Sofie Gråbøl seems like she has a great time playing Chana, Leah’s tightly wound mother, as Chana tries to feed Leah bowls of chicken soup with a side of guilt-tripping.
ATTACHMENT is the first feature-length film from Gislason, following his two prior short films, Samuel’s Getting Hitched and Purple Haze. It’s a strong start – Gislason and cinematographer Valdemar Winge Leisner have a good eye for creating a creepy atmosphere, even in broad daylight. I’d definitely recommend ATTACHMENT for anyone who enjoys romances, horror, drama, and LGBTQ+ cinema – this movie has a little bit of everything.