Most Beautiful Island

In this uneven psychological drama from first-time writer-director Ana Asensio, an undocumented Spanish immigrant (Asensio) struggling to make her rent in New York City takes a high-paying job to “look pretty” at a party that turns out to be a sinister underground game for the city’s haut monde. Asensio uses the film’s first half to generate empathy for her character and explain why this rational woman might show up to a mysterious and potentially dangerous job, but lengthy sequences of her babysitting two spoiled brats and getting lost on the way to the secret affair grow tedious. The second half is chilling and well directed, culminating in a high-wire act of a finale.