In Joanna Hogg’s ghostly new drama ‘The Eternal Daughter’, Tilda Swinton plays two roles: a middle-aged artist, Julie, and her aging mother, Rosalind.
Coming together in a former family home that has since turned into a hotel, the mother-daughter duo finds themselves immersed in old secrets, manifesting themselves as ghosts in the haunted manor.
As a review from IndieWire’s David Ehrlich included in the film’s first teaser states, Swinton’s command of both roles is clear. According to Ehrlich, the viewer will “instantly forget the characters share a single actress between them.”
Even in small glimpses of Julie and Rosalind’s interactions, the praise is well warranted—Swinton captures the similarities and differences in both women with deft and nuanced precision.
An aptly haunting score, centered around tolling bells and tumbling flute, sets The Eternal Daughter’s foggy, mysterious atmosphere. Doors creak unexpectedly and dogs whine at nothing.
A local tells Julie that “memories flood black in this place, quietly through the evening.” It’s unclear whether the primary haunts are the result of hotel stays gone wrong or Rosalind’s muddled past—perhaps it’s a mix of both.
Whatever may be lurking, metaphysical or real as rain, Rosalind quickly feels uneasy in her former home, surrounded by old family portraits and expansive outdoor grounds. “The longer we’re here, the more it comes back,” she tells Julie. “The dread.”
Hogg’s follow-up to her semi-autobiographical, two-film series The Souvenir gains a helping, hallowed hand from executive producer Martin Scorsese.
Hogg also serves as a writer and producer on the film. Carly Sophia Davies and Joseph Mydell round out the small principal cast.
The Eternal Daughter premieres in theaters on December 2.