As an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, The Daughter is imaginatively set in working-class Tasmania, where a timber town is beset by economic woes and secrets. A stellar cast including Geoffrey Rush, Anna Torv and Sam Nielsen give weight to the film.
But despite the cast, The Daughter is a glorified dark soap opera. The camera has a perpetual eye on Odessa Young, the titular daughter. This film is really more of an annoyance but the first-time director, Simon Stone, wants to advertise it as high art. It is not. This a very dull film, though Stone does find the harrowing and sorrowful situation of bewildering poverty in a Tasmanian town.
Secrets surface, the community – including the timber boss (Geoffrey Rush) go into crisis. A long-lost brother tells tales out of school. And the close-knit community descends into a spiral of hate and melancholy.
This film very over-emotional, and frankly, pointless. Its release has been delayed numerous times, and its recent media blitz suggests it never had sturdy legs. This might be the most annoying and overblown movie of the year. (OA)
BY OLGA AZAR