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When a secret long hidden makes its way out...
Reno-Rangan14 October 2016
A very surprising Aussie film. Not all the Australian film makes big at the world stage. So this film was not known to many people, but I am lucky to watch this. The film was based on the Norwegian play called 'The Wild Duck'. It was adapted several times for the screen, but this is the latest and a modernised version. The first film for the director and he was amazing in handling the screenplay as well.

Obviously I did not know anything about the film. The cast looked good and also the storyline, so that's my reason to watch it. It began like a simple drama about a family who are going through a difficult time after the wood mill was shut down in their small town. Their's daughter, Hedvig, who is studying in the high school worries that she's going to lose her boyfriend if they move out of the town. That's not it, the narration had layers like from other people surrounding this small family and their perspective too has a big impact on the storytelling.

Not just this family, but many from the town were out of the job and that leads to some unexpected decisions. Another family who ran that wood mill for nearly a century, welcomes their son, Christian from the United States who is having a tough time with his girlfriend and also to attend his father's wedding. He accidentally meets his childhood friend which is actually a Hedvig's father. They spend lots of time together and that's where a new issue arises. Christian reveals some hidden truth for the decades between their two families. Everything breaks loose and becomes impossible to fix it. From all this, the daughter is the one who directly get affected, but to learn how is why you should watch this film.

You won't immediately understand the meaning of the title. The film very smartly progresses like bit by bit with lots of suspense around. The best part is, it never reveals the actual secret at any length of the film, but still the viewers going understand the situation very clearly. That's really amazing, particularly the writing being so clever. I don't know the original material which is more than a hundred year old, but I loved this to tell the story in a smart way.

"You do not need to be scared of the truth."

The characters were the best part of the story. The switching time was excellently done. Like the whole film is not intended to deal with one particular issue, but multiple. Everybody had something to deal with, some were personal and some were concerned for their whole family. The story always engaged with details, so there's no time for relaxation for the viewers. In the first half it succeeds to keep everything neat, despite the story developed from different angles. Because the end pulls them all together to conclude the tale on high. High mean, neither happy or sad, the timing when the twist takes place was a perfect setting.

If you are a melodrama fan, this must not be missed. I haven't seen a good tearjerker for a long time and then I found this one unexpectedly. I did not know the film would turn this way, but that's one of the reasons why I liked it a lot. The twist at the final act was kind of predictable if you were focused enough in the early part, but nobody gets a clear picture of how it all ends. That's the point. Despite how the film characters react when the suspense was revealed, we have our own respond too, but unable to deliver where it requires. That is funny, but the film gets very serious towards the final segment and you get no time to react, you will be like unmoved till the end credits roll up. But sensing a tragedy is certain.

I recently saw 'Fathers & Daughter', that I anticipated something what this film offered. The story lines are completely different from these two films, but that father and daughter relationship thing, I liked very much from this one. Especially the emotions are the most crucial to narrate the tale and this film was way better in that perspective. Comparison between these two titles only on the sentimental side, other than that it's not fair to bring a debate on them. Anyway, both are the fine melodrama.

This film definitely would appeal strongly to the family audience and I highly recommend it to them. There's no strong nudity or the sex scenes, but thematically it goes some length to record the required event. Other than those couple of parts, this is a film for everybody. Very satisfied with the overall film. I might not consider it my favourite, but very close to be called one. Like I said the story was thoroughly written, so I'm feeling this film won't go unnoticed. I am not talking about it would find its audience, but the remakes. European, Korean, Bollywood, even a Hollywood version might come. So fingers crossed, but I suggest this one to watch if you are convinced with my review.

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Excellent all-round Aussie Production
edhart087 June 2015
I was lucky enough to see this film today at the Sydney Film Festival....adapted from Henrik Ibsens late 19th century play ''The Wild Duck'' but totally rewritten and retold into a modern Australian story set,maybe in the logging areas of Tasmania but actually filmed around the very atmospheric Snowy Mountain towns of Tumut and Batlow. The acting is superb, particularly the wonderful Ewen Leslie who just gets more magnificent in each role he takes on...Script and cinematography add to the overall brilliance of this terrific Jan Chapman production....a must see for all lovers of great Aussie films both here and overseas...I cant wait to see it again on its general release
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Gripping and Moving Australian drama
t-dooley-69-38691615 October 2016
Henry (Geoffrey Rush) is the master in a town where his logging company is the main attraction. His wife has passed away long ago and so he decides to remarry. This coincides with his decision to close the logging factory due to falling sales. The town is imploding but he wants to pull out all these stops for his wedding day.

His estranged son, Christian, has also returned from America and immediately reconnects with old friends and this includes Oliver and his wife and daughter. He has long born a grudge with his father and as old tensions resurface so do nagging questions from the past. It is the answer to those questions that are the setting for the calamity of the future and a delve into the darkness that the past can often hold.

This is a smouldering watch, all the performances are brilliant especially Odessa Young as Hedwig and Ewen Leslie as Oliver. We also have a fine performance from Rush and the ever reliable Sam Neil – both acting royalty in Australia. It keeps the tempo up almost from the start and is a credit to Screen Australia for investing in such a commendable piece of cinema.
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optimistic update of Ibsen's The Wild Duck
maurice_yacowar10 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Simon Stone's The Daughter is "inspired" by Ibsen's The Wild Duck but it's radically different. Stone gives the Danish Nietzschean tragedy a contemporary Australian setting with an upbeat spiritual ending.

The basic plot holds. A wealthy industrialist's son Christian returns from self-exile for his father Henry's marriage to his much younger housekeeper. Christian's mother killed herself over Henry's affair with an earlier Housekeeper, Charlotte. Now Christian learns that Charlotte married his best friend Oliver who thinks the daughter Hedvig she had by Henry is his. Whether out of bitter despair over his own romantic loss or out of wrong-headed idealism, Christian reveals the long buried secret. His friend is revulsed by the wife and daughter he has so profoundly loved and rejects them. Hedvig shoots herself.

Stone makes significant changes. His Hedvig frees the duck that Henry had shot down and Hedvig and her grandfather Walter nurtured. Ibsen's Hedvig agrees to her father's demand she put the duck out of its misery, then shoots herself instead. Stone's Hedvig is herself a creature of nature. Her science fair project is a study of amino acids, in and beyond the human body. Her eagerness for sex confirms her natural appetite, as she invites both her young boyfriend and Christian.

Her sexual initiation in the forest is enigmatic. The boy had earlier postponed this First Time until her birthday. In the event, he -- as university registrars put it -- withdraws in good standing and runs off. Perhaps he felt guilty about not having told her his family was moving away. Perhaps her virginity -- she hurts, despite her claim to experience -- and the unaccustomed condom embarrassed him with a premature ejaculation. In any case, the scene presents him as a modern, sensitive young man, The New Man, in contrast to the bullish self indulgence of Henry and his generation.

By renaming Ibsen's Gregers Christian, Stone implies another contrast, between Henry's pagan self indulgence and the new man of conscience. Christian urges Charlotte to reveal her secret to her husband: "The truth can't hurt you." But this son can't escape his father's hold, as his retreat to drink and drug reveals. Embittered that his woman has dumped him, Christian may not be as noble as he thinks when he shatters his old friend Oliver's happy family. The destructive power of the father is visited upon the son, for all his moral pretensions.

Henry has ruined the family. He let his friend and partner Walter go to jail for their joint scheme. Giving him a pension and helping Oliver buy his modest house is scant compensation. But his destruction of the family is incomplete until his possibly well- meaning son shares his destructive truth. For that even Henry's promise of a trust fund for Hedvig cannot compensate.

The film's last shot poses an ambiguity beyond the play's solid suggestion that Hedvig killed herself. The medic has said she has a chance. The last shot shows her in radiant close-up, eyes closed. Does she recover? Does she die? We're left to our own conclusion. Modern audiences will leap to the hope of a conventional happy ending.

But Stone directs us to a more complex conclusion. The radiance makes her appear angelic, confirmed by the religious chorale. The implication is that she dies but in a transcendent way. She returns to her quintessential unity with wild ducks, animal appetites and amino acids. Her wounding has shaken her effective father out of his mad self denial, so he resumes his love for her and his wife. And she is finally freed from her brute father Henry's clutch. In this delicate balance Stone respects Ibsen's tragic vision but allows for the alternative encouragement, the view that we don't live in an uncaring brutal universe but in a world of material and spiritual interconnection.
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The Daughter: why would you call your daughter 'Hedvig'?
niutta-enrico29 August 2016
Henrik Ibsen has been a great Scandinavian playwright, very well known until the 80s in most Western Countries. Currently his (great) works are played less often and the man is less known.

So I won't be surprised if someone watched the present film unaware that its beautiful plot was taken from one of his masterpieces: 'Vildanden', published more than a Century ago.

The young Simon Stone showed a great deal of talent and very good taste in changing the story to make it more interesting and fitting with modern times (and Australia). Until I heard the name 'Hedvig' (only name left unchanged from the original play, a nice touch…) I didn't recognize the source.

He made a very clever choice: on a soundest plot he built a catching movie, full of passion and realism, enhanced by great performances.

I won't tell anything about the changes he made: for those who know the original, you won't know if the ending is changed. For the others: enjoy.
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Revenge, Truth, Promiscuity, Patriarchy
renhir1 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I found three themes particularly interesting in The Daughter: revenge,truth, and promiscuity.

Revenge - Many years after having left home, Christian returns for his father's wedding. He accuses his father (Henry) of having cheated on his mother and of being responsible for her suicide. When the bride asks Henry what's going on, he does not want to bring his coming wedding in jeapoardy and refuses to tell her.

Later, Christian calls his girlfriend and hears that their relationship is over. Devastated, he decides to reveal to his best friend Oliver that Henry has fathered Oliver and Charlotte's 16-years old daughter Hedvig.

Having failed with his father, Christian's quest for vengeance finds its fulfillment when he destroys his friend's family.

Truth - Revealing the truth destroys a family (that of Oliver, Charlotte and Hedvig). On the other hand, concealing the truth to his bride allows Henry to start a new family.

Promiscuity - The dramas around which the movie is built are caused by several personages cheating on each other. Very remarkably, the cheating is principally the work of the female characters: - Walter (Oliver's father) tells the story of his wife who ran away with an artist - Paul's girlfriend (Grace) announces to Paul that she has been cheating on him when seeing her old boyfriend again - Oliver learns that his wife Charlotte had an affair with Christian's father and was in love with him at the time they were already together. To make things worse, she tells him that he is not the father of their daughter Hedvig, but that Henry is.

Strengthening the promiscuous character of the female personages, the 16-year old Hedvig entices her boyfriend, Adam, to have sex with her. Whereas it is obvious that it is his first sexual experience, she has had sex before, but refuses to say so when he asks her. Later, she feels attracted to Christian and asks him to kiss her.

On the male side, only Henry has cheated on all the females of his life.

Finally, the patriarchal figure of Henry seems to be unaffected by all the misery he causes around him. At the beginning, he announces to his employees that his factory has to close, obliging all these families that have lived in this small town all their life to go somewhere else to find work. Nevertheless, his lifestyle does not seem to be in the least affected by that. When the financial fraud that he and Walter had organized together went wrong, Walter was indicted and went to jail, while Henry was left unscathed. As to his role in the death of his first wife and to his rejection of Charlotte when she was pregnant, it has not affected him either: he is going to remarry a woman half his age. What's more, the two deaths that mark the movie - that of his first wife and Hedvig's suicide - are indirectly attributed to him, but this does not disturb him: the hunt scene at the very beginning of the movie symbolizes his unrepentant stance.
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An impressively performed Australian drama
eddie_baggins21 November 2016
In the grand old tradition of Australian films of the past 10 – 15 years, young theatre director/actor turned feature filmmaker Simon Stone's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play that has here become The Daughter is a sombre, bleak and sometimes hugely impressive film that's moments of greatness are sadly washed away by a tendency of over-dramatics and underdeveloped characters that hamper the films intentions to be the next big Australian drama kingpin.

Stone who had the fortune of gathering some of Australia's best talent in the form of Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Miranda Otto as well as American actor Paul Schneider in the key role as the thankless Christian certainly had the tools at his disposal to create something special (something that he did from all reports on stage with this same story) but while The Daughter is a polished local production thanks in no small part of Andrew Commis's noteworthy work as DOP and Mark Bradshaw's effective score as well as the to be expected work of the experience cast, you can't help but feel as though The Daughter doesn't ring true in its most important moments and some players within this family drama barely get a chance to breathe in the 90 minute run time.

Christian may be our central figure here and his an unlikeable and tormented soul but relative newcomer Odessa Young gets the films biggest weight put upon her shoulders as the young and vulnerable Hedvig. Young's performance is solid without being overly impressive but Hedvig as a fictional creation is somewhat unengaging and with an important part to play in the stories proceedings as Hedvig and her family have to deal with unearthed secrets, Young can't bring the stories wannabe emotional payoff home despite the best attempts of those around her with a particularly disappointing final few minutes feeling rather underwhelming.

With supports from the aforementioned Neill, Rush and Otto, The Daughter is never allowed to fall down to any detrimental levels and while the shipped in Schneider doesn't get great rewards from his Christian, Stone shows himself a director to watch out for with his handling of stars and the mostly unknown Ewen Leslie as the hard done by Oliver is another of The Daughter's participants that will likely benefit from a starring role in this well received production.

Devoid of much light and frivolity, The Daughter is as glum as Australian films get and while this Home and Away with a budget is sometimes too much to bare or care, there's enough impressive filmmaking going on here that Stone's film is a worthwhile watch for all those seeking out their next dose of Australian drama, like only we Australian's can make.

3 animal sanctuary's out of 5
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The Daughter is a one of a kind movie
topher-social2 August 2016
this movie was simply amazing the plot was perfect everything unfolds at just the right moments,it always leaves enough mystery and wonder to keep you wanting to know more until you get to the end and the writer just unloads everything onto the audience.the actors were spot on superb acting for every single character even the background actors were so good it was like watching real life unfold in front of your eyes and the directing well that is what made this movie what it is didn't it,i am very picky about how a movie is directed and Mr Simon Stone my hat is off to you sir all around great job on everyone's part this movie is a must see for everyone.

to everyone that took part in this movie thank you for this gem of a film.
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A metaphorical collision between a single ray of truth and the lie that connects two families
CineMuseFilms26 February 2016
Untangling the narrative thicket of The Daughter is not easy and the plot line is slow to unfold. It helps to take a step back and look at the story as a metaphorical collision between a single ray of truth and the lie that connects two families. It is only at this thematic level that we can understand why Henrik Ibsen's 1884 play The Wild Duck keeps reappearing on stage and screen. The Daughter is the latest re-imagining, with new characters and a modernised story that retains the glasshouse fragility of lives built upon secrets. It is timeless precisely because secrets are a part of life, yet some are so destructive that a few words can be a missile that shatters everything.

A gunshot is fired at the start and end of the film, and in between is a high-tension wire that is slowly pulled tighter and tighter until it snaps. When a timber mill closes in an unnamed Australian town disgruntled workers are laid off while the aloof and wealthy owner Henry plans to marry his much younger former housekeeper. His estranged son Oliver returns for the wedding looking for someone to blame for his mother's suicide. When Oliver learns of his father's previous infidelity he feels compelled to reveal all. Tensions explode when Oliver tells his best friend Christian, as the affair involved his wife and now affects the relationship with his daughter Hedvig. One revelation of a buried truth triggers a chain of events that nobody can control.

Although melodramatic and claustrophobic as family relationships can be, the story gathers pace in the second half, carried forward by outstanding acting from a stellar cast. It is beautifully photographed in Gothic style with haunting atmospherics amidst iconic landscapes reminiscent of The Piano (1993). Several overlapping scenes and restless camera viewpoints evoke the vulnerability of relationships teetering on lies. Often we are not sure who is the protagonist of the story as events unfold from various viewpoints but it is the daughter Hedvig who emerges as the innocent heroine tragically burdened by the sins of family. As she did in Looking for Grace (2015), Odessa Young plays the rebellious daughter and again her star shines brightly all over this film. Tense, challenging, and wonderfully crafted, this complex film mixes a psychological thriller with tragedy and its ending will leave you stunned.
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Powerful - why only 6.8?
Anton_Sciatore18 May 2017
I think this is the first review I have written on IMDb. I can't believe this movie is only rated 6.8. I haven't seen a play or read any book upon which this film is based, so I am rating this film based purely on its own merits. This is one of the most powerful movies I have seen in a long while. Performances were excellent. It's not often a movie leaves me stunned. Highly recommended
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A very rare and startling film...
Sherazade13 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The performances were top-notch, I's the sort of film where if you can't act you can't be in it and I'm glad the casting director understood that. I probably have to re-watch the last quarter of it because I was crying so much I could hardly see the screen but this is definitely a recommended watch, great script, great acting and just a well-rounded drama.
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Near flawless but not a ride for the faint of heart
anthonyjlangford5 December 2016
Much has been said already; slick direction, outstanding performances from the entire cast, especially those we are unfamiliar with on the screen and a brilliant story, 140 years old, that cements as the bed rock. (Rush is quite deliciously understated).

I only have two objections. The editing style is unique (dialogue preceding the scene, or carrying over other parts that is not natural but interesting). However I feel the director relies on it too heavily, passing up the potential for good drama. This is especially noticeable in a confrontation between Sam Neill and Geoffrey Rush. The tension is passed over in favour of technique. An error.

The other objection is that the director claims the play 'Inspires' the screenplay. Despite the changes, it's the same story. It should be 'based upon'. Its an obvious flex of ego.

Minor points aside, this a top notch, captivating drama in all regards, showing the complexities of human relations, and that truth is not always the right option. Ah, the intricate web we often unintentionally weave.
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Real, palpable narrative momentum
stills-614 June 2017
Solid generational drama with real, palpable narrative momentum. The actors were fabulous, it looks fantastic, and the script is top notch. It doesn't hurt to have Ibsen behind you, but this movie goes far beyond the constrictions of a stage production. The only real problem for this movie is the obviousness of the premise from very early on. Some of the drama is leaked out of the story because of this. It's still a worthwhile watch though, because it's carried off quite well. The lack of suspense of what the situation is becomes the suspense of what the characters are going to do about it when it plays itself out. And unlike many other movies with this structure, the actors are all up to the task.
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A wild and wounded duck witnesses human inter...actions
mmunier17 March 2016
Perhaps I was not in the mood for it, went to watch "the daughter" after a coin toss with the alternative to be "the lady in the van". After reading the account of a Canadian here I was wondering if we saw the same thing! Yet all that was said was very much what I saw (save some early parts when I closed my eyes out of boredom) Some may say it was only my loss and they may be right, however that's how I felt. The inspiration for this film I'm told is a Danish work "the wild duck". Well the duck did it for me. As for the rest, so much can be written about it, or simply it can just be an every day sad story about things going wrong when people stop caring for each others. Yet I was surprised to be quite moved at some of the acting despite the lack of interest I seemed to have for the story. I guess I may be on my own with this assessment if I go by most others comment. In all fairness I have to state again that I can't follow a dialog that is not clear and loud enough so perhaps it's a little like reading a book with every third word missing and certainly affects my appreciation of movies when its dialog is crucial for the plot.
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A haunting look at human behaviour when limits are pushed and relationships are tested.
DJKwa5 March 2017
A fiery family drama set against the backdrop of a sleepy logging town, where a war of attrition is waged against family bonds and childhood friendships as suppressed secrets spill over the course of a wedding celebration. The Daughter is a powerful and, at times, onerous piece of Australian drama. Based on the Norwegian play The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen, the film is marked by a dreary tone and languid pace, which may prove off-putting for some. However, for patient viewers, the film rewards with a multi-layered and thought- provoking narrative that enlightens just as much as it punishes.

The film's pace is best described as a slow crescendo. An overriding sense of uneasiness and general malaise looms over the film, accentuated by a muted colour scheme and soft- spoken dialogue. Problems bubble under the surface but details remain shielded and obscure. While this causes the film to drag at times, the occasional story lapses are pushed through by understated and powerful performances from a high-caliber cast. Headlined by veritable cinema veterans Geoffrey Rush and Sam Neil, and rounded out by Ewen Leslie, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv, Paul Schneider and Odessa Young, who is an absolute talent to watch, there is not a weak link between them. They colour their characters with the requisite depth and humanity necessary in handling this type of difficult material.

It's only during the last act, when an earth-shattering revelation flips things upside down, that the pace picks up. While observant viewers may connect the dots between the title and the late game twist early on, the explosive ending still hits like a punch to the gut as it acts as a release for the pent-up discontent that has been building up throughout the film. The most polarising aspect of the film, however, is likely to be the lack of resolution offered by the ending, which leaves the messiness of the closing scenes intact. Those looking for easy answers and neatly packaged messages need not apply, as the film isn't afraid to leave threads dangling. Instead, it offers a riveting and ultimately haunting look at human behaviour when limits are pushed and relationships are tested. It's a fine piece of challenging but rewarding cinema.
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As Good As It Gets- A Must See
andrewbunney7 March 2016
The Daughter is a drama about a few days in the lives of two Australian families living in a rural timber mill town. The mill owner is taking a new wife just as he announces the closure of the mill. His son Christian flies in from the US for the wedding and reconnects with his childhood friend, Oliver. Oliver, a mill worker, lives with his wife, child and his decrepit father. An uncovered secret threatens to shatter the lives of everyone.

The themes are of honesty and family connection as the story, immediately sincere with plenty of light moments, slowly builds into deadly seriousness.

With pervasive and ominous masculine anger and alcoholism, The Daughter is a note-perfect portrayal of Australian small town life. Everyone makes mistakes and they can have devastating consequences for others. Damaged people are dangerous.

The storytelling is masterful, a huge credit to writer, director Simon Stone and to Andrew Commis' creative cinematography. The editing is exquisite, courtesy of Veronika Jenet (The Piano, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Strangerland, Black Balloon, Angel At My Table, Snowtown).

There are half a dozen great characters and the ensemble acting brings out the very best in both Geoffrey Rush and Sam Neill. Miranda Otto is magnificent. American Paul Schneider evokes the danger of the damaged man as does Aussie TV actor, Ewen Leslie as his long-lost mate.

Young Odessa Young as Hedvig is the central character. She ably commands everyone's attention and seems bound for stardom.

The Daughter is alternately poignant and powerful; a life-and-death drama, free of any suggestion of the theatricality of the play that inspired it, Henrik Ibsen's, The Wild Duck.

This is daring, fierce, and rewarding cinema; as good as it gets. A must see. 5 stars

Andrew Bunney, Let's Go To The Pictures, Three D Radio, Adelaide
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Better on paper than on the screen. Disappointing.
david-rector-850921 September 2016
On paper, 'The Daughter' has lots going for it: An adaptation of a successful theatre production which in itself is an adaptation of a classic Ibsen play; Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush; top notch local actors Miranda Otto, Ewen Leslie; and veteran Sam Neill. But i ultimately found this a disappointment; despite some strong ingredients. From the early scenes, there was a heavyness and at times overly self conscious style from both the director and the actors. I wondered how this was going to work.... Geoffrey Rush, one of Australia's finest actors was just too arch in this performance. The film may not have been made without his 'name', but the incredulity of the much younger women being so drawn to him was inescapable for me; that and a very stiff and unlikable character. Paul Schneider, so powerful in Jane Campion's 'Bright Star' was all at sea here. Inconsistent direction and a bizarre character arc made this wonderful American actor look out of place. Yes he was the outsider, but i didn't believe for a moment that he was Rush's son; nor a former best friend of Ewen Leslie's character.

The positives: The aforementioned Mr Leslie is building a great portfolio of stage and screen work, and despite those early 'ocker' moments, he developed his character and displayed much potency especially in the last act. Miranda Otto is always watchable but again credibility and some very pedestrian dialogue did not help this viewer much. As the title character, Odessa Young is a real find and definitely the saving grace for me with this film. An absolute natural; the youngest cast member was perhaps the only one to rise above the soap operatic material and direction to give a naturalistic performance. Her place in the industry seems assured after this and her other feature 'Looking For Grace'; proof that a star is born.

Maybe I just don't like soap dressed up as art or high drama; but this film didn't sit right with me. It felt like it had all been done before and done better! Shame, as there is lots of talent on screen, but an overdone, overly signposted tragedy, for me, needed to be done in a far more clever way - ala The Dressmaker.
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A boring drama film with few redeeming factors
Fiurilli18 October 2016
'The Daughter' written and directed by Simon Stone is the big screen adaptation of a screenplay from the late nineteenth century. In this film we follow a character Christian who returns to his hometown only to discover an old family secret that can ruin the lives of those involved should this news come to light.

This movie features many different subplots that slowly unfold while the bigger overarching story is taking place. These subplots are mostly meant to give the many characters some much needed backstory. One problem with them however is that most of them do not seem to develop in an organic way and appear forced. Another problem is that more often than not the outcome is extremely predictable. As soon as a situation is set up it is almost always clear how it will end and quite a few times characters would act out of character just to make this ending possible. The same is true for the main plot considering one of the main characters only exists to set up certain story elements. This character never has a concrete reason for most of his actions while a lot of times his behavior does has a very emotional impact on some of the other characters. Just like the many subplots the main story is as predictable as can be. There is never really a moment where you're left wondering what is about to happen and what is left is a movie that is slowly progressing towards its end.

Over the course of the film a heavy emphasis is put on the characters. Most of the actors did a decent enough job to portray their character however the performance of Paul Schneider as Christian was simply abysmal. His performances never seemed genuine and whenever he appeared on the screen I was immediately taken out of the movie. This in turn made the performances of the other actors seem a lot worse than they actually were and ultimately there really is not a single performance that can be considered memorable. The directional style of Simon Stone also leaves much to be desired. There are some incredibly weird cuts during conversation and a lot of times the camera is focused on characters with their mouths closed while their voice can be hear from a shot that is about to follow. Now Stone did not fail completely as there are some gorgeous shots present in this film. These shots are mostly environmental ones and even though they are quite beautiful they almost always feel out place. The movies soundtrack also does not seem to fit the movie very well and a lot of times it appears to be forcing a certain emotion way to obviously.

The basic premise of the film could have provided some interesting scenario's however the convoluted story, terrible soundtrack and poor writing have made this an impossible feat. In the end 'The Daughter' was a complete waste of time with few redeeming qualities.

My rating: 4/10
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jaysonrex7 May 2017
The movie starts from nowhere and ends ... nowhere. Predictable and boring I don't recommend this movie to anyone. The theme is adequate for a movie made just after World War II when anything was acceptable. Rush, as expected, put on a marvelous performance as did the other cast members. Unfortunately, the director did a pretty lousy job. And this is evident throughout the movie.
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Unconvincing, pretentious, finger-wagging drama
adam-703-8086891 March 2017
This viewer did not believe a single character in this, not their jobs, their social status, their relationship to each other, their clunkily exposed past, the town/country they lived's all highly manufactured, self-conscious drama for drama's sake with everyone concerned striving for tragedy or meaning, but looking faker and faker as one pretentious scene follows another. None of the personnel involved escape the curse of this contrived world from the very first scene.
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Flawless acting - I question if it matches 21st C sensibilities
conan-222 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
As you will have read, this is an adaptation of a late 19th-century play by Ibsen. The last film interpretation was also Australian in 1983.

The casting of an American to represent the estranged son returning from the USA for the wedding was good as it removed the need to explain the return. These days with Facebook etc one questions if he would be so distant from his high school best friend. Also, should his accent be a pronounced given his Australian roots?

That said, it was a well-paced drama. Ibsen can be heavy but this did not drag and felt of the moment. The language is now, the tone is now my only concern is the ending as I question whether the ending rings as true today as it may have in the past. Sure, Hedvig has other triggers, which to a young adult would be graver than the question of one's ancestry.

The other characters are left hanging in the movie, which seems to move from Christian in the beginning as the protagonist to Hedvig at the end. Christain and his family are unresolved as a plot point.

Sam Neil and Geoffrey Rush are brilliant, pulling back from a stage bombast, which could have made the movie feel like a play. Leslie and Otto are also good, though Otto is under-developed given she is the pivot to the story.
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The Necromancer of the North goes south
The_late_Buddy_Ryan9 March 2018
"The Daughter" is a flawed but involving film "inspired by" Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" and set in a dying Australian lumber town. Director/adapter Simon Stone's scaled back the great Norwegian's gothic plot mechanics quite a bit, but we're still left with an irreducible core of craziness that detonates in the final scenes. The first-rate cast does its best to keep it real until then, however, and during the leisurely exposition, Stone rearranges the setting and the characters' backstories in a convincing way--Ibsen's sinister loft where Old Ekdal blazes away at birds and rabbits becomes a tidy wildlife refuge tended by Sam Neil; Hedvig's an attractive pink-haired teenager, not a pathetic captive...

Henry (Jeffrey Rush), the rich millowner whose misdeeds set the plot in motion long ago, doesn't have much left to do at this point; the main characters are his estranged son, Christian (Paul Schneider), and Oliver (Ewen Leslie), Christian's boyhood friend and the son of Henry's onetime business partner (that's Sam Neil). Stone picks up the tempo when Christian unearths a "long-buried family secret" (as the imdb blurb says) and threatens to reveal it.

Perhaps because he's concerned that Christian's motives--seemingly a mixture of envy, resentment and a yearning for a higher truth--may not play too well for us moderns, Stone makes him a relapsing alcoholic as well (which I don't think his counterpart, Gregers, is in the play). The rest of the film becomes a blur of dramatic confessions and confrontations as the impact of Christian's betrayal of his friend ripples outwards. Stone's artistic project of restaging Ibsen's heavily symbolic drama in a realistic setting pretty much collapses at this point, but the rock-'em-sock-'em dénouement still held my attention to the end. The woodsy exteriors are appropriately somber, and two of the lesser-known Aussie actors, Ewen Leslie and Odessa Young (Hedvig), are especially impressive.
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wasted effort
skynogu16 February 2018
So everyone in it are good, maybe even terrific. But what could have been a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions ends up being cowardly and lacking in conviction. In the end, just a lousy story that didn't know what story it wanted to tell.
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Don't Know Where It Was Going or Where It Went
rdg4520 May 2018
Relationships -- they are messy. Family -- gets messy. This film -- messy.
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Well written movie but too serious....
ajlondon18 March 2018
The first half hour it is nearly impossible to figure out where the movie is headed... Which can be good or bad. I was afraid the whole movie was just going to be drift around with no point. (That is not the case)

Then, you 'get it' and understand what is happening. But WHY? It is so disturbing. There is less than 15 seconds of humor in the whole film.

It is extremely emotionally taxing.

Normally, when anything in any genre is well made I instantly enjoy it.

This was wonderfully produced, acted, and well written but the topic. Too much...

Why make such a dark movie?
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