114 minutes| U.K.| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema

Joanna Hogg confirms her status as a vital new voice in British cinema with this witty, thoughtful and elegant study of a family holiday where long-suppressed tensions come to the surface. Think Eric Rohmer or Olivier Assayas rather than Mike Leigh. As a well-to-do trio repair to the Scilly Isles, looking for quality time together before Tom Hiddleston’s Edward departs for voluntary work in Africa, passive-aggressive sibling Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) fulminates against his wayward idealism and the way their mother (Kate Fahy) silently suffers the neglect of their absent workaholic father. Petty jealousies and hypocrisies play out in devilishly observed dialogue, yet the film’s sophisticated response to changing interior and exterior climates shows genuine ambition at play too. Deftly, Hogg uses the character of painting teacher Christopher Baker to tie the themes together, reflecting on how we respond to the things we can’t change, and exploring the contradictions between comforting isolation and fractious blood ties. Confident performances seal the deal. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

Book Tickets