The Pleasure of Being Robbed.

Josh Safdie | 2008 | ★★★★
A mischievous, child-like young woman (the excellent Eleonore Hendricks) spends her days and nights wandering the streets of Manhattan, stealing from the bags of random passers-by and stumbling into various low-key capers – including her taking an impromptu trip to Boston with an old acquaintance in a half-heartedly stolen car. Though she does it, it would seem, more out of a sense of curiosity and adventure than financial need or want. Indeed, when she is arrested for browsing through a woman’s handbag in the park, she treats the whole experience like a game – even managing to blag a free trip to the Central Park Zoo with the arresting officers in the process. And – so completely undaunted by her comeuppance – she even manages to find time to fantasise about swimming with the polar bears. With distanced yet intimate camerawork, enigmatic plotting, and a mesmerising central performance, Safdie’s feature debut proves an alluringly sensuous, quietly witty gem.