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Director: Eva Husson

Synopsis

Adapted from a 2016 novella by Graham Swift, Mothering Sunday is a collaboration between Normal People and Lady Macbeth screenwriter Alice Birch and French director Eva Husson (Girls of the Sun, Bang Gang). Set in 1920’s Britain, the film’s narrative flits between non-linear time frames in the life of Jane Fairchild. A housemaid and a naturally gifted writer, Jane is played with measured finesse by Australian newcomer Odessa Young – and later, by a brief but outstanding appearance from Glenda Jackson. Jane works for the Nivens, a local ‘grand’ family (Olivia Coleman and Colin Firth) who lost both of their sons in the First World War. Owing to an old tradition of allowing servants and maids the day off on Mothering Sunday – Jane is able to visit her secret lover, Paul, played by the brilliant Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country). What follows is a sensual, fragmented and beautifully woven story about the force of creativity, and the path it runs through an artist’s life and relationships. With a searing score and a detailed, almost tangible aesthetic, this exquisite period-drama is imbued with an unusual cinematic energy that makes it a must see on the big screen.

— Joanna Duncombe

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