The Eternal Daughter

Where I watched It: iTunes

English Audio Description?: Yes

Narrated By: Darren Polish

This film has one of the most obsessively and aggressively annoying sound designs. This, and the Amazon movie Nanny, are both designed to drive you mad by creating sound design that isn’t scary, but so obnoxious you lose your damn mind.

The whole reason this film exists, and why someone like Martin Scorsese would be a producer (Yes, really) is Tilda Swinton. This is a perfect A24 release. it’s artistic as fuck, and people will debate and dissect this for years to come. The reality is that what makes it fascinating is that this story, about a daughter who wants to reignite her creative documentary juices, brings her mother back to a place she had long since put behind her. And the catch? Both roles are played by Tilda Swinton.

And in case this somehow astounds you, you obviously haven’t seen Tilda Swinton act before. We’re talking about the same actress who delivered such WTF performances in Okja and Snowpiercer, not to mention being ambiguous in her role in Dr Strange. She’s up for this kind of shit. She seeks it out. She probably heard this thing was happening, and hunted down the director in the middle of the night and threw herself onto this film.

Of course she’s brilliant. She’s generally always brilliant. That’s not the problem.

This film is so slow, so dulll, and so boring that the only thing interesting is this spectacle. With almost no location changes, and a very tiny cast, there’s nothing exciting here. IT’s just a very slow, ver meditative film with the kind of idiotic sound design that has wind blowing while people are standing indoors in hallways. And it never sounds like the kind of wind during a storm, but rather the kind of noise little children make when they’re pretending to be ghosts.

Darren Polish, God love him, tracks the evolution of nothing quite well. Although the film is an exercise more than a movie, he finds ways to communicate some progression in the story, as well as the differences in Swinton’s character.

I appreciate and love actors, and frequently, a film can be lower for me on an enjoyment scale, or where I believe the true quality of a film is, but then a performance is so good it demands to be seen. That almost happens here, but even with the gimmick, I have a hard time giving this any kind of thumbs up.

Final Grade: C-

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