Film Review: Mothering Sunday
Director: Eva Husson
Cast: Colin Firth, Odessa Young, Josh O’Conner, Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù, Glenda Jackson, Olivia Colman, Patsy Ferran, Emma D’Arcy
Running Time: 111
Australian Distributor: Transmission Films
Based on a novel of the same name by Graham Swift, the film opens we are in the last days of World War One. The tone is one of suppressed grief and rage. Three upper class families meet over a weekend in Henley. It becomes clear that one of them has lost both of their children in the war: the father (Colin Firth) represses this knowledge with banal cheeriness while the mother (Olivia Colman) looks sullen and detached but occasionally flares up into tears and deeply selfish condescension.
Another family has lost two sons already, and the third, played by Josh O’Connor has inherited all their hopes and burdens. He must now study law and marry his deceased brother’s fiancée. He rebels by shagging the neighbour’s maid (Odessa Young) and vast amounts of the film consist of them lying naked on a bed, or – once he departs for an engagement lunch – her wandering aimlessly naked around his house. This is basically 70% of the film. Will anything happen? No. Not even when a major event happens. There’s no confrontation. No dramatic tension.
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