Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Family: Far Away, So Close

Archipelago (2010) - Hogg
 photo 4d1b4dff-8987-4c99-afa0-de6e20a09465_zpsbf8c1c19.jpg
In the beginning of the film, there is a hole in the big living room wall above the mantel where a picture frame used to hang. A hired cook notices it. It's a family vacation on a windy isle. It's Mum (Kate Pahy) and two grown up children Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) and Edward (Tom Hiddleston). Dad is absent. He is only available on the phone. Cynthia is resentful about Mum and Ed's passivity on everything, including absence of Dad. Ed has been doing some kind of volunteer work in Africa, but he doesn't really know if he was making right decisions in life. Cynth is the type who'd send away a plate of food she deems not well done in restaurants. She frowns at Ed's sheepishness around the cook. These are all concerns of the privileged. There are muted emotional fireworks. But Joanna Hogg's austere direction and writing, the characters are all too human. Her astutely observed family dynamics and people around them ring true to me. We all have family members like Cynth. Ed's indecisiveness is not uncommon either (he is told so by a family friend and painter, wonderfully played by soft spoken, non-actor Christopher Baker). Acting is superb all around. It's a nice change of pace for me to dig into this somber family drama.

No comments:

Post a Comment