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The Crack Magazine

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The Eternal Daughter

Director: Joanna Hogg

Stars: Tilda Swinton, Louis, Carly-Sophia Davies

The ever-daring Tilda Swinton doubles up here playing a daughter and her mother in this atmospheric chiller from collaborator writer-director Joanna Hogg. Filmmaker Julia Hart and elderly mother Rosalind (both Swinton) and Rosalind’s dog Louis (Louis) have booked into a remote Welsh hotel to celebrate Rosalind’s birthday. It is revealed that the hotel used to belong to Rosalind’s Aunt Jocelyn during the war, and that Rosalind occasionally stayed there as a child. Julie’s sleep is disturbed when she hears creaks and a repetitive mysterious thumping sound. There’s more than a whiff of BBC’s ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ in its mist-shrouded old house in December setting and unsettling woodwind score. Superficially, it seems a change of pace for the director after Hogg’s two-part ‘Souvenir’ opus, but it shares similar preoccupations re creativity and the role of the artist. Even the characters are carry-overs, sort of. There’s humour alongside the spooky vibes too, via a sublimely awkward birthday dinner sequence, and in Carly-Sophia Davies’s scene-stealing turn as the grumpy young receptionist who is unable to conceal her irritation at Julie’s requests. Plaudits also to Louis the dog, a revelation as ‘Louis the dog’.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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