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Apple Original Film ‘Fingernails’ Explores Love And Compatibility In Dystopian Setting

Cate Blanchett's Dirty Films produces thought-provoking sci-fi love story directed by Christos Nikou.

Apple Original Films will be streaming on “Fingernails” on Friday that is produced by Dirty Films, a production company founded by Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator”) and Andrew Upton.

(L to R) Lucas Wiesendanger, Coco Francini, Christos Nikou, Sam Steiner, Stavros Raptis and Jerome Duboz attend the 2023 BFI London Film Festival Official Competition red carpet premiere of Apple Original Films’ “FINGERNAILS” at BFI Southbank. “FINGERNAILS” premieres in select cinemas and globally on Apple TV+ on November 3, 2023. (MAX CISOTTI/EPKTV) 

This film featured Academy Award winning actors and nominees that was selected by the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the BFI London Film Festival (as the official 2023 selection).

The feature film cast includes Jessie Buckley (“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”), Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler”), Jeremy Allen White (“Shameless”), Luke Wilson (“Old School”), and Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”). 

The film follows Anna (Buckley) and Ryan (White), who are happy couple living together in an uncomplicated bliss and perfectly matched together. A test accurately determines whether a couple is in love and if they’re going to be a match together.

The test is a new technology that requires each person to submit a fingernail to determine the compatibility.

Anna is then drawn to taking a job at the institute to explore the exercises, which Ryan doesn’t think it’s necessary.

She then meets Amir, a diagnostician who claims to have secured his own relationship. Anna’s against statistical odds where the co-workers fall in love, throwing into questions the system that binds and employs them.

“It’s not dissimilar to the world we live in, where you can hop on a dating site and use an algorithm to match with somebody you barely know, or might never know,” said Buckley about the plot of the film. “In ‘Fingernails’ and its world of testing and certification, you can sleep soundly knowing your relationship is safe and secure. Except Anna is trying to wake up from all that — she’s afraid of falling asleep inside something that’s supposed to feel electric and alive.”

The film raises the question to the audience of what quantifies true love.

“The role of the institute centers on taking the risk out of love, and the ability to test with certainty whether two people are in love,” said Ahmed about the message of the film. “Some people take the test before getting engaged or married, or before moving in together — the idea is to work out whether both people are fully committed to each other. The problem is that there’s always some risk to falling in love. True love is never safe, calculable, or quantifiable.”

“Fingernails” is directed by Athens-born filmmaker Christos Nikou where his work on “Apples” caught the eye of Blanchett’s production.

“We were blown away by Christos’ ability to tell a story that was slightly dystopian and conceptual but filled with humanity,” said Coco Francini, who is one of the partners of Blanchett’s production company, Dirty Films. “The beauty of this film, and Christos’ work in general, is that it doesn’t sit neatly into any single genre. It’s a slightly sci-fi exploration of a love story within a larger tale about humanity. It’s as complex as love itself.”

Nikou was the director, screenwriter, and the producer for the film.

Dirty Films and FilmNation Entertainment were the production company producing the film.

Executive producers were Glen Basner, Milan Popelka, Alison Cohen, Ashley Fox, Kevin Lafferty, and Jerome Duboz.

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