Love is a battlefield
Cinema Nova - Tuesday 1 February 2016, 6:30pm
Running time: 96m
Release date: 17/03/16
Rating: 9/10 (ME 4.5/5, DP 4.5/5)
Despite the closure of his wood mill (an act which plunges the town into economic despair), Henry (Geoffrey Rush) is on the verge of marrying his much younger housekeeper Anna (Anna Torv) in a lavish ceremony. Henry's son Christian (Paul Schneider) returns from the US for the wedding and reconnects with childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie) who's now happily married to Charlotte (Miranda Otto) and sharing a loving home with their precocious daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) and his father Walter (Sam Neill). But Christian is still traumatised by the suicide of his mother, his crumbling marriage and his battle with alcohol. It's not long before the secrets begin to emerge that have the potential to jeopardise the happiness of everyone.
The Daughter is powerful and intense human drama with an engaging story, clever script and an A-list cast of Australian screen legends. The performances are very good with Odessa Young (Looking for Grace) taking 'emotional and mouthy yet likeable teen' to a new level with her character plunged into adult situations yet maintaining a youthful naivety. It will be interesting to see how she transitions into adult roles in years to come as an actor with a very bright future. Stage great Ewen Leslie demonstrates his extraordinary range with a character who has more layers than a Sara Lee Danish. The cinematography is stunning and the sustained silences and minimal use of music heightens the tense tone that bubbles underneath.
The convoluted story could fuel The Bold and the Beautiful for years, yet it never strays away from a simple, tragic and very human story. A triumph of Australian cinema that deserves to do well at the box office. (ME)
6th AACTA Awards