Jennifer Connelly is a mom on a mission in ‘Bad Behaviour’



An offbeat mother-daughter drama, “Bad Behaviour” begins as Jennifer Connelly’s Lucy visits a costly spiritual retreat.

With its low-key guru (Ben Whishaw) and not so cozy group sessions, the retreat promises to change Lucy’s life dramatically — only emphatically not in any expected way.

Her daughter Dylan (Alice Englert), working as a stuntwoman on a New Zealand movie, is injured and then quickly paged to attend to her mom’s mess.

“I read the script by Alice Englert who directed it and plays my daughter. She sent it to me with a beautiful, handwritten letter,” Connelly, 53, began in a Zoom interview. “It really excited me.

“The part excited me. Her writing excited me. Then I watched two short films that she directed that were funny and smart. I was really intrigued by her and curious to see what she would make.”

Englert, 29, is the daughter of New Zealand’s Oscar winning filmmaker Jane Campion (“The Piano,” “The Power of the Dog”). It’s been written that Lucy’s retreat is a satirical look at those Campion often attended when Alice was little.

“I think that Alice feeds the humor in some of these experiences at the retreat and some of these exercises. But I don’t feel,” Connelly said, “she’s necessarily satirizing the whole process. I think that she had a little compassion and love for people who are in that process of trying to find themselves and trying to find peace.

“Lucy is a person who wants so much to have a good relationship with her daughter. And she’s working so hard to be a good person.  But maybe she’s looking so far inside herself that she stopped being able to see her daughter at all.

“She realizes that towards the end of the film, that she is someone who was not taken care of and wasn’t really mothered properly. She wasn’t really nurtured properly. So she wants to love her daughter but doesn’t really know how to translate that to be of some help.

“In this movie she goes to real extremes unfortunately. She behaves so badly it becomes criminal behavior. But she’s trying!

“She’s trying to break the cycle of intergenerational absence.”

Filming “Bad Behavior” in New Zealand only sounds like a sightseeing opportunity.

“I’d been to New Zealand, many, many, many years ago, just traveling on my own, but I had not been there for filming before. It was different because, honestly, we were working six, eight weeks, and because of the schedule and other circumstances, I didn’t have any time to tour around.

“It was particularly beautiful being there, working with the crew, seeing the landscapes driving to work. I really enjoyed making the movie.”

“Bad Behaviour” is available on streaming platforms



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