Opens:June 22
Genre:Drama
Duration:94 minutes

Fifteen years after an adult man initiates an illegal three-month sexual relationship with an underage teenage girl, the victim finally confronts the man responsible in this gripping film set in suburban England, adapted by Scottish dramatist David Harrower from his own acclaimed stage play, Blackbird.

What might have been a simple revenge melodrama becomes a far more subtle and a far more nuanced – and therefore more powerful and haunting – affair in the hands of Harrower and his director, Benedict Andrews, the internationally successful Australian theatre director here making an excitingly accomplished cinema debut.

While the play – which I haven’t seen – was confined to the meeting between the two adults, the film flickers back and forth between the present and the past, the former unfolding during a single day. Rooney Mara’s Una turns up to the light industrial warehouse where Ben Mendelsohn’s Ray now works. After serving a four-year sentence as a result of his abuse, Ray has moved to a different area, changed his name to Pete and married.

Interspersed throughout the film are flashbacks showing Una as a 13-year-old (terrific newcomer Ruby Stokes), flattered by...