All Eyes On Her: Chai Fonacier Wows Critics With Her Performance In 'Nocebo' - Arts & Culture

The Filipino-Irish psychological thriller film hits theaters in the Philippines and it’s not one to be missed.

First premiered at the QCinema International Film Festival last year, more viewers are now able to watch Nocebo as its commercial release makes it available nationwide.

The film is stacked with big names such as Eva Green and Mark Strong, but Chai Fonacier is one of the biggest reasons why many Filipinos are eager to see it.

READ ALSO: A Historic Debut: Dolly De Leon Attends Golden Globes As First Filipino Nominee

The story follows fashion designer Christine (Eva Green) who is suffering from a mysterious illness which no doctor can seem to find the cure for. 

Enter Diana (Chai Fonacier) who introduces herself at the front door as a caregiver. Christine doesn’t remember hiring her but accepts the help anyway, causing a rift between her and her husband (Mark Strong).

Diana relieves some of Christine’s suffering with the help of traditional folk healing techniques which leaves the family confused. What caused her illness? And what is Diana’s role in all this?

Fonacier’s performance will have the audience at the edge of their seats. With films like Born Beautiful and Patay na si Hesus (where she won Best Supporting Actress at the Luna Awards) under her belt, there is no doubt of her acting prowess shining through.

A New York Times review calls Fonacier an excellent actor with “a knack for coiled tension.” Other critics have described her performance as “superb,” “nuanced,” and “deeply felt.”

“Being the only Cebuano in the team at this phase of the shoot, it’s quite a big load on my back, and it’s scary,” said Fonacier in a 2021 interview with NYLON Manila. 

“But it’s one that I’m excited and honored to take on. We Bisaya don’t get a lot of proper representation in local media, so this to me is huge.” 

Nocebo makes history as the first co-production between Ireland and the Philippines, blending political themes with Filipino folklore within the film’s storyline. 

It’s definitely a must-watch for those looking for a unique cinematic thriller.

Banner photo via Instagram @TBAStudios.

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