With her son Edward (Tom Hiddleston) about to embark on a volunteer trip to Africa, doting mother Patricia (Kate Fahy) wants to give him a good send-off, and gathers her family together for a getaway to a holiday home on idyllic Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly. Edward’s father’s attendance is eagerly anticipated, though sister Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) appears to be there under some duress, going through dutiful motions. Cook Rose (Amy Lloyd) is happy to tend to the family, though her presence causes some discomfort. The holidaymakers spend their time walking, cycling, taking picnics and being tutored in oil painting, appreciating the breathless beauty of their surroundings. Gradually, deep fractures within the family set-up begin to surface. One of the most eagerly anticipated features of the year, Joanna Hogg’s follow up to Unrelated serves as a worthy companion piece to her brilliant and acclaimed debut, as she continues to make astute and authoritative observations on the malaises of the middle-class, extracting sometimes painful drama from incidental events. Archipelago confirms Hogg as one of the most intriguing and vital voices in modern British cinema. —Michael Hayden
Joanna Hogg (born 20 March 1960, London) is a British film maker and screenwriter. She made her directorial and screenwriting feature film debut in 2007 with Unrelated.
After leaving school in the late 1970s, Hogg worked as a photographer and began to make experimental super 8 films after borrowing a camera from Derek Jarman, who became an early mentor after a chance meeting in Patisserie Valerie in Soho. One of these, a film about a kinetic sculpture by artist Ron Haselden, won her a place to study direction at the National Film and Television School. Her graduation piece Caprice starred a then unknown Tilda Swinton. On graduation, Hogg directed several music videos for artists such as Alison Moyet, and won her first television commission writing and directing a programme segment for Janet Street Porter’s Channel Four series Network 7, Flesh + Blood. In the 1990s, Hogg directed episodes of London Bridge, Casualty and London’s Burning. She also directed the EastEnders special… read more
"Like a great river with a calm surface and a raging current in its depths." For it to bring to mind the master... Well, that is the greatest compliment one can give a film.
We begin this week's roundup on new theatrical releases in the UK, then make our way to the States via two films opening today on both sides
In Archipelago we have an upper middle class mother, her adult son and daughter on holiday on one of the Scilly Isles (mildest part of British isles, off England’s South West coast), as a send-off… read review