Review: The Eternal Daughter
Blu-ray: The Eternal Daughter (2022)
Director Joanna Hogg claims that The Eternal Daughter isn’t a ‘follow on’ from The Souvenir despite having the same characters and cast. I should add that I haven’t seen that film.
Tilda Swinton plays Julie, a film maker and also plays her elderly mother in full scraggy neck make-up who return to the former family home, which is now a hotel which seems to be haunted, to celebrate the mother’s birthday.
This has had a lot of critical acclaim in the broadsheets, and as we all know Tilda is a wonder, but this film, sort of ambles along, where nothing really happens except a few dog walks and a very rude hotel receptionist.
(SPOILER) It’s obvious from the start that the mother isn’t really there, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a surprise near the end or not.
It is sort of ethereal, in the same vein as Picnic at Hanging Rock (there’s even flute music), and a VERY misty wood (a bit too much mist, it’s almost Hammer horror like), but to me, there is no real story. Tilda is very restrained and even when as Julie, she cries, it’s just rather… annoying.
This is probably one of the most marmite films I’ve ever seen, where people either adore it, or dislike it, unfortunately I’m in the latter. I get that it’s looking at how we become children with our parents and sometimes swop roles, and despite Tilda playing both characters, I was just bored and longed for something to happen. At the end of the film I had that feeling of … 2 hours wasted. However, you may love it!
- Presented in High Definition
- Audio commentary by Joanna Hogg and production designer Stéphane Collonge
- Présages (2023, 11 mins): a short film by Joanna Hogg produced in 2023 for the Centre Pompidou’s ‘Où en êtes-vous?’ collection
- Joanna Hogg in conversation (2023, 76 mins): the acclaimed filmmaker discusses her career so far with Jason Wood. Recorded at BFI Southbank as part of the season, Internal Reflections: The Films of Joanna Hogg.
- Q&A with Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton (2023, 35 mins): the writer-director and star of The Eternal Daughter talk to Francine Stock about their latest collaboration
- Original UK trailer
- Audio description for the blind and visually impaired
- **FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Catherine Bray and an essay on Joanna Hogg and her films by Hannah Strong
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by the B.F.I.