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| 24 September 2016 | Reply

Roadshow Entertainment
September 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar


Odessa Young is sensational as the daughter, Hedwig, caught up in the power plays of a handful of selfish adults with their own agendas in a dying logging town in Simon Stone’s movie of Henrik Ibsen’s play.

The Daughter opens with two shotgun blasts, Geoffrey Rush (as the selfish and secretive Henry, who is shutting down the logging company which has kept this remote New South Wales town alive for years, leaving his staff unemployed and without decent prospects) wounding a duck.

One of those layoffs is Hedwig’s Dad Oliver, played with fun loving verve by Ewen Leslie (until the horrendous climax, that is), who is happily married to Miranda Otto’s Charlotte.

With the ubiquitous Sam Neill playing Oliver’s own Father – a man with jail time behind him after taking a fall for illicit dealings in partnership with Henry, and tellingly the rescuer of the aforementioned duck before Henry could finish him off – the family close ranks and resolve to make the best of a bad situation, but they can’t defend against the storm which is coming to rock their worlds.

A warning against the wicked webs of secrets and lies which we all weave, The Daughter shows that long-laid-to-rest skeletons in closets have a habit of coming crashing out when we least want them to, and when Oliver’s school mate – and Henry’s son – Christian (Paul Schneider) returns to town for his father’s wedding, Christian’s own selfish unhappiness coupled with too much to drink results in those secrets coming home to roost.

Without spilling any more beans, let’s jump forward to the finale, deliberately left open-ended, which will infuriate some and fascinate others, but allow all to follow their own imaginations – positive or negative – about the outcome, much as we all do when we tell the lies that create these situations.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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