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Agnes, has reached her early 40s without ever venturing far from home, family or the tight-knit immigrant community in which she was raised by her widowed father. That begins to change in a quietly dramatic fashion when Agnes receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift and experiences the heady thrill of not only doing something she enjoys, but being very, very good at it.
Roger EbertFull Review Good ...makes "Puzzle” such a lovely surprise. A million tiny revelations make up one massive arc, and Kelly Macdonald positively radiates hope and joy throughout that process. "Puzzle” wisely doesn't complete the whole picture in easy or obvious ways, but rather gives us the space to consider the solutions for ourselves.
Slant MagazineFull Review Average It's as if Puzzle has been winnowed of dramatic obligation, delivering predictably on the page but without feeling on the screen. It's buoyed by the presence of Macdonald, who's a master of understated vulnerability, but she can't steer it out of the doldrums. What you expect to happen will happen, and you won't feel much when it does.
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After years of concerning herself exclusively with the needs and wants of her husband Louie and sons Ziggy and Gabe, Agnes has found something that she wants to do. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert, a wealthy, reclusive inventor who immediately recognizes her talent and recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world jigsaw tournament. Each day she spends out in the world, puzzling and conversing with Robert, takes Agnes further along on the road to a new understanding of herself and her strengths. With that understanding come new insights and an assertiveness that finds her speaking out on her own behalf and pushing back against the assumptions and routines that have until now defined her role in her family. Ultimately, Agnes will decide for herself what comes next.