Fingernails Movie Review: New Christos Nikou Film Passes with Great Cast Headlined by Jessie Buckley

Directed by Christos Nikou and Starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed and Jeremy Allen White

Fingernails review

In the growing microcosm of soft science fiction, Fingernails, directed by Christos Nikou, stands as another strong addition to Apple TV+’s repertoire, blending elements of romance, drama, and comedy against the backdrop of a futuristic society grappling with the complexities of love. Starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Allen White, and Luke Wilson, the movie explores the fragility of relationships in a world where a single fingernail can determine the strength of a couple’s love.

The story unfolds in a future where a peculiar test, involving sacrificing one’s fingernail, has become the litmus test for true love. This inventive and delirious premise sets the table for a heartfelt exploration of love’s intricacies, with Anna (Jessie Buckley) at the center, working as an instructor at the controversial Love Institute.

Buckley delivers a compelling performance, portraying Anna’s internal struggles with nuance and depth. Her relationship with Ryan (Jeremy Allen White) is comfortable but lacks the spark of passion, a sentiment subtly conveyed through the stellar chemistry between the lead actors. White’s portrayal of Ryan complements Buckley’s performance well, encapsulating the familiar yet strained nature of their connection.

Riz Ahmed, as Anna’s fellow instructor Amir, becomes the catalyst for complexity in the narrative. His dynamic with Anna is slight to start, with subtle hints of an unspoken connection that lingers beneath the surface. The cast’s reserved yet emotionally charged deliveries create a pretty inviting viewing experience, making the film an engaging exploration of human interaction and connection.

Christos Nikou, in his latest directorial effort, masterfully captures the melancholic beauty of the film’s world. Marcell Rév’s cinematography, adorned with deep blues and browns, immerses the audience in a visually stunning environment that mirrors the emotional landscape of the characters. And the film’s score, composed by Christopher Stracey, contributes to the overall atmosphere, adding layers of melancholy that resonate with the themes of love and longing.

Fingernails delves into profound themes of when to hold on and when to let go in a relationship, echoing the universal struggle of navigating the complexities of love. The film’s simultaneous portrayal of sadness and happiness creates an extremely rich emotional experience, mirroring the bittersweet realities of human connections.

Reviews for Films like Fingernails (2023)

Apple TV+’s latest foray into soft science fiction, following films like 2021’s Swan Song and Finch, showcases a consistent dedication to exploring the intersection of technology and emotion. While the film does evoke echoes of its predecessors, it manages to carve its own niche, thanks to Nikou’s adept direction and the stellar performances of the cast.

The narrative takes unexpected turns as Anna, driven by curiosity and a quest for genuine connection, conducts clandestine experiments, leading to revelations about the limitations of the fingernail test. The film subtly critiques the commodification of love, as relationships are reduced to a numerical value, creating a thought-provoking commentary on the potential pitfalls of relying on such metrics.

Fingernails culminates in a heart-wrenching yet hopeful climax, as Anna and Amir confront the complexities of their feelings amidst Anna’s struggling relationship with Ryan. The film skillfully and maturely navigates the blurred lines between loneliness and love, leaving audiences with a lingering sense of introspection.

Fingernails is an effective exploration of love in a technologically driven future. Its standout performances, captivating visuals, and emotionally resonant storytelling elevate it above its potential pitfalls. And while it may not revolutionize the cinematic landscape, it distinguishes itself as a compelling addition to the growing catalog of Apple TV+ originals. Fingernails succeeds in tugging at the heartstrings while offering a glimpse into a future where love is measured in unexpected and quantifiable ways.


Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Watch Fingernails on Apple TV+

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Fingernails Movie Cast and Credits

Fingernails movie poster


Jessie Buckley as Anna

Riz Ahmed as Amir

Jeremy Allen White as Ryan

Luke Wilson as Duncan


Director: Christos Nikou

Writers: Christos NikouStavros RaptisSam Steiner

Cinematography: Marcell Rév

Editor: Giorgos Zafeiris

Composer: Christopher Stracey

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