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  • Writer's pictureJack Aling

Mothering Sunday - Review (London Film Festival 2021)

Nothing To Lose. 3 / 5

Directed by Eva Husson.

Set over a day in 1924, the story follows Jane Fairchild, a maid in the Niven household, who has the day off to celebrate Mothering Sunday while Mr. and Mrs. Niven attend a lunch. Jane rejoices at her freedom on an unseasonably hot, beautiful spring day. But, she has no mother to go to. For almost seven years she has – joyfully and without shame – been Paul’s lover.

A stylish and melodramatic story of forbidden love that is saturated with some of Britain's best actors, Mothering Sunday forgets to add any real substance to its elegant setting.

Odessa Young leads the prestigious cast with ease and her chemistry with Josh O'Connor and his tiny smile is the beating heart of the film. But this graceful period piece feels a bit aimless filling its runtime with more atmosphere and beautiful cinematography than actual story.

Eva Husson balances the glamour of the setting and the grief felt after WW1 through intimate character moments, especially with Olivia Colman's stern performance.

With romantic clichés of forbidden love and more nudity than anyone was ever expecting, Mothering Sunday never quite reaches the heights it's aiming for but is a soothing and well made drama with excellent performances at its centre.

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