Directed by Oliver Krimpas (who co-wrote the script with Christopher Coppice) Ghost in the Machine feels rather like something Roald Dahl might have written; a fairy tale for adults if you will, in which a modern day badly done to Cinderella gets to experience the romance and independence she has longed for all her life. This character is Noreen played by the brilliant Jessica Gunning, star of Pride, White Heat and What Remains to name but a few.
Noreen is an overweight teenage farm girl who lives in the shadow of her domineering, cruel and unsympathetic father who treats her little more than a slave, expecting her to tend to the land for nothing, thus making a saving on hired labour. To escape her harsh and lonely existence, Noreen likes to daydream that she is a beautifully dressed, much sought after lady in the rolling fields of America; captured in the honeyed glow she rebuffs the advances of a lovestruck, handsome cowboy, instructing him to kiss her boot to show his affection for her. But it isn't long before she's falling back to earth with a bump, facing the blunt insulting comments and criticisms from her father and gaining little comfort from her cold, meek mother either.
Then, one day whilst out in the fields she finds a chance at love where she least expects it - from an abandoned talking tractor!
When the broken down, long-forgotten 1953 Massey Harris tractor tells her, with a Texan drawl, that she’s pretty, Noreen's first reaction is to think that she is crazy. But she's so starved of love and affection that she has to go back to it, her curiosity piqued despite, having fished around for clues regarding it, her father informs her that the tractor once killed one of his labourers. Pretty soon she's visiting it secretly everyday and an unlikely relationship with the smitten and romantic tractor develops into something that ultimately saves Noreen from drudgery forever.
You can view the trailer here