The Big Picture
- Fingernails is a sci-fi film about Anna, who tests her love using new technology, but questions whether she should trust her instincts instead.
- The film features a talented cast, with director Christos Nikou praising their performances and chemistry.
- Fingernails marks the English-language debut of writer and director Christos Nikou and will be released on Apple TV+ on November 3.
Sometimes when love feels right, it just feels right. There’s no need to test whether those feelings are true or not — unless you’re Anna in Apple TV+’s Fingernails. The sci-fi feature centers on Anna, who wants to put her love to the test. The upcoming film is set to release Friday, October 27 with a limited theatrical run in LA and New York. It will be released in additional select theaters and premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 3. Ahead of the film’s premiere, Collider is excited to share an exclusive clip.
Fingernails follows Anna (Jessie Buckley), a woman who has found true love with a man named Ryan (Jeremy Allen White). How do they know it’s true? Well, science said so, thanks to a recent technological advancement — and a controversial one at that. Despite what the new tech decides, Anna isn’t entirely certain that she’s really in love. So, she heads to a love testing institute where she takes up a new position. While there, she meets Amir (Riz Ahmed) and soon begins to develop feelings for him, wondering whether it’s more prudent to trust her instincts or a machine.
The new clip features Anna and Amir as they prepare to oversee a task with a group at the institute. The scene begins relatively lighthearted as Amir jokingly tells someone that the test is inspired by Jaws. But it’s not really. As the person returns to her partner, Anna points out the pair, telling Amir that the bond between the couple seems real. Though the clip doesn’t delve too deeply into their psyches, it seems Anna is a much greater believer in real love, as she seems more willing to see it, whereas Amir holds more skepticism. In an e-mail interview with Collider’s Maggie Lovitt, director Christos Nikou gave further context for the test explaining what came before the clip:
“This is one of the first tests that we see in the movie. These activities are activities that all couples have to do in order to connect a little bit more, and to be able then to succeed in this test. One of these moments is that they have to go underwater and see each other’s eyes, look at each other’s eyes all the time and and feel a little bit breathless at the same time as looking at each other’s eyes and connecting that way. And we are seeing how Anna also has already been connected with this young couple that are trying to do the test, with Rob and Sally. And she is talking about them and about how she hopes that they will succeed in this test later.”
The Cast Is the Highlight of ‘Fingernails’
Alongside the mentioned cast, Fingernails stars Luke Wilson, Annie Murphy, Katy Breier, Varun Saranga, Nina Kiri, Amanda Arcuri, Tanchay Redvers, Tameka Griffiths, and Ashleigh Rains. During an interview with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, Nikou shared his excitement for the supporting ensemble cast, a majority of whom he didn’t know prior to the film. However, he “believe[s] they were all so perfect, and they adapted so much in their roles. It was just amazing.” Additionally, Collider’s Ross Bonaime noted in his review that the cast is the standout for the film, specifically mentioning the chemistry between Buckley and Ahmed: “Even if it’s not spoken, we can feel this connection get stronger the more they work together, although it could certainly be stronger throughout. It’s also fun to watch this cast in this world where it seems the lack of confusion over love has taken some of the life out of life.”
Fingernails marks the English-language debut of writer and director Christos Nikou, previously known for his film Apples. He reunited with Stavros Raptis to co-write the screenplay, with Sam Steiner as a co-writer. Nikou told Collider that while the general idea for the film remained from the first draft, some things had to change, and highlighted the first scene he conceived of, saying:
“The first draft was much more comedic in a way. The way that we’re writing, we’re always writing something a little bit more comedic at the beginning. We’re going a little bit more to the edge until we’ll find the right balance for the movie. And I remember that the first idea, the first scene that I have in my mind, we don’t have it exactly as I had it in my mind in the movie. It was because the first thing that I had, the general idea was about a love crisis in the world, something happens in the world and people are dealing with a love crisis, and they’re trying to find love again.
So I remember that the first scene that I had in my mind, it was an interview with the main character. And the guy who was doing the interview was asking her “OK, what’s your name? How old are you?” and stuff like this. And then the next question was”how many times have you fallen in love?” And she was replying by counting on her fingers like “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, maybe 4.” And then, the interviewer was telling her, “OK, perfect. You are hired.” so that was the idea. That was the funny scene that I had in the beginning.”
As for what he hopes audiences will take away from Fingernails, Nikou offered a romantic answer:
“I really hope that the movie will make them question a lot of things about themselves, about their experiences in their lives, about their personal experiences around love. And if they are leaving something real in terms of love. And also how the extensive use of technology has changed the way that we experience a love, and how as a society, sometimes we’re trying to prove love when love is not something where you’re just putting a ring on your finger, or you are holding a certificate, a love certificate and you prove it like we’re doing in the movie. But love is something that you have to work on every day. And I hope that they will take that from the film, and also that they will remember the film after the end credits roll for a little bit longer, and some scenes and some parts of the film would stay with them.”
Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton, and Coco Francini produce for Dirty Films, with Lucas Wiesendanger producing on behalf of FilmNation Entertainment. FilmNation’s Glen Basner, Milan Popelka, and Alison Cohen executive produced along with Jerome Duboz, Ashley Fox, and Kevin Lafferty.
Fingernails releases globally on Apple TV+ on November 3. Watch the clip below: