The debut film from Polish director Bodo Kox is a tender and often very funny story about people who are lost within themselves.

Jacek (Piotr Glowacki) lives with his brother in a typical apartment block in Warsaw. He takes care of Tomek (a tour de force from Wojciech Mecwaldowski) who suffers from a neurological condition that leaves him chronically isolated. Living and caring for his brother takes its toll on Jacek and he takes refuge in a string of romantic liaisons. Enter their mysterious neighbour Magda (Magdalena Rózanska) – the titular girl from the wardrobe. She, too, lives an insular life, shielded from the stresses of the outside world, but a connection slowly develops between the characters, leading them to realise that they’re not alone.

The film’s breakout star is Mecwaldowski, whose performance as Tomek has invited comparisons with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. A touching film about longing and our need for safety, The Girl from the Wardrobe is a must-see.

Zbyszek Zalinski