March 25, 2022
By: Nicholas Ruhrkraut | March 25th, 2022

On a warm spring day in 1924, house maid and foundling Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) finds herself alone on Mother’s Day. Her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman), are out and she has the rare chance to spend quality time with her secret lover. Paul (Josh O’Connor) is the boy from the manor house near by, Jane’s long-term love despite the fact that he’s engaged to be married to another woman, a childhood friend and daughter of his parents’ friends. But events that neither can foresee will change the course of Jane’s life forever.

Even without the marquee’s blazing red letters greeting audiences into this movie, it becomes very clear, very quickly that the title is embedded in every aspect of the story. As a matter of fact, the movie itself feels like it has two mothers of its own: “Atonement” and “Downton Abbey.” Odessa Young shines in her largest and most melodramatic leading performance to date as a maid to the wealthy Nivens, played humbly by Colin Firth and Olivia Colman. And just as she feels torn about having a secret affair with the dashing Paul Sheringham (Josh O’ Connor), who is about to be married to another woman, a turn of events gives birth to memories and flash-forwards of a world even more tragic than post-WWI England.

While the images glow with the serenity of a polished estate or the daring freedom of browsing an overstocked library naked, there lacks a depth of meaning behind the drama. Both Colman and Glenda Jackson’s short scenes pack the largest emotional blows of the film, but the weight of so many other moments should have had a more lasting impact.

'Mothering Sunday' is in theaters on April 1st, 2022.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Nick Nicholas Ruhrkraut (Contributor) lives in New York City but is a Midwestern boy at heart. He loves discussing everything film on his podcast "Oscar Wild," cooking and baking at home, reading, and traveling.
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