Posts Tagged ‘Josh O'Connor’

The Evolution of a Writer

Mothering Sunday

Director: Eva Husson

Cast: Odessa Young, Josh O’Connor, Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Oscar winner Glenda Jackson (Women in Love, A Touch of Class), Patsy Ferran, Emma D’Arcy, Caroline Harker, Emily Woof, Sope Dirisu, Craig Crosbie, Simon Shepherd

Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

In a similar tone to director Joe Wright’s film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement, French director Eva Husson boldly adapts acclaimed British author Graham Swift’s 2016 period romance novel Mothering Sunday to the big screen featuring some startlingly fresh and candid performances by Odessa Young and Josh O’Connor as the ill-fated lovers.

Rising star Josh O’Connor best known for his portrayal of the young Prince Charles in the Netflix series The Crown plays the only surviving son Paul Sheringham, a wealthy aristocrat who has an explicit affair with the house maid of his parents’ best friends The Nivens, wonderfully played respectively by Oscar winners Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite).

The nubile and unconventional housemaid in question is the beautiful Jane Fairchild, gorgeously played by the Australian actress Odessa Young.

Set almost entirely on a beautiful Spring day on the 30th March 1924, Jane Fairchild takes advantage of her liberty and commits to an illicit liaison with Paul Sheringham at his family estate before he is meant to meet his parents and future fiancée Emma Hobday played by Emma D’Arcy for a lavish lunch. Much of the film takes place during this gorgeous day as Paul and Jane spend a forbidden and passionate morning together while some of Paul’s stuffy family members and friends are expecting his arrival at a very elegant lunch at Henley on Thames.

Mothering Sunday is a French take on how they view the British upper classes and director Eva Husson beautifully uses the young lovers in all their nudity to expose the decay of the rigid class lines that used to keep the British class system intact, which began unravelling spectacularly between the two World Wars.

Without the moral depth or psychological complexity of Atonement, Mothering Sunday is a stunning and sensual period film about forbidden love and the journey one young woman takes to becoming a writing, her courage to change her accepted place in society and evolve from being a housemaid to eventually becoming a famous writer.

At the end of the film the central character is seen in contemporary times and Jane Fairchild as a mature and established writer is portrayed by 1970’s Oscar winner and screen legend Glenda Jackson (A Touch of Class, Women in Love) as she ruminates thoughtfully on her success at becoming a famous writer while looking back on that one fateful encounter with a posh young man which would change her life and inspire her creative genius.

Mothering Sunday is a languid British period film which is drawn out in parts but equally provocative.

Held together by a top calibre supporting cast, Mothering Sunday gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is worth seeing especially for the central performances by the two young and talented stars: Josh O’Connor and Odessa Young.

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