Marcy Martha May Marlene announced the arrival upon the indie film scene of Sean Durkin. Film fans revelled in the latest addition to the hallowed halls of films which don’t bring numbers to the theatre, but do provide an injection of quality into the film world. Then, just as quietly as he appeared, Durkin disappeared. (Kind of. He did direct a television mini-series called Southcliffe.) That is until now. It has been almost a decade and he is back.
Back with another “small” film though it does boast a known entity in the form of lead actor Jude Law. What has remained consistent is Durkin’s style. He is rather unconventional. The stories he chooses to tell are not typical. Meaning they are not based on stories we are used to seeing on the big screen. Doesn’t rely on the usual tropes.
Being ambitious Brit Rory O’Hara (Jude Law – The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Talented Mr. Ripley) is alway seeking something bigger and better. A few years back he moved his family to the United States to be closer to his wife Allison’s (Carrie Coon – Gone Girl, Avenger’s: Infinity War) family. While they are all settled and loving life, he isn’t. So, when an opportunity arises at his old firm, Rory wants to move back to England.
Going on ahead of his family, Rory rents a large estate in the countryside. He will travel into London for work. There is enough land for a stable to be built for Allison and her horse, which he has flown over from the U.S.
After some initial bliss, things begin unraveling. His job opportunity seems to not be as lucrative as Rory had hoped. No money is being brought in. Rory is exposed as nothing more than a fast talker. He has no work ethic. Now job and family life are both coming apart at the seams Everyone in the O’Hara family begins to deal with things in their own way.
Family life. Capitalism. How we have been programmed in the Western world to chase riches. Always wanting more. Never being satisfied and yet precious few are willing to work for it. Compelling material.
Durkin knows how to make something which will force you to think about the world. About how we are living our lives. It is laid out plain as day in front of our eyes. The ugliness behind the glitter.
The family unit. A beautiful idea. Yet the way we live here puts undue pressure on it. Often families are ripped apart because of the pursuit of money. Is marriage really possible in this type of environment. Even if you love the other person.
Again this is a show of intelligent film making by Durkin. No desire to make something mainstream. Creativity is at a high. Despite the darkness it is compelling.