“Mothering Sunday,” Eva Husson’s historical drama which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and is headed to Toronto in September, has been set for a Nov. 19 theatrical release from Sony Pictures Classics. The film, which debuted to strong reviews, stars Odessa Young, Josh O’Connor, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Patsy Ferran, Emma D’Arcy, Glenda Jackson, Olivia Colman and Colin Firth. “Lady Macbeth” scribe Alice Birch wrote the screenplay, based on Graham Swift’s novel.
The film’s official synopsis outlines the forbidden upstairs-downstairs romance: “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.”
Variety critic Guy Lodge praised the film, saying, “even at its most purely decorative, Husson’s aesthetic decisions are rarely generic. The punchy blue-and-red palette of Sandy Powell’s perfectly cut-and-cinched costumes may lean a little too broadly into heart-on-literal-sleeve emotional expression, but you can’t stop looking at them; likewise, the film leans heavily on Morgan Kibby’s plangent score, but its strings-to-synths transitions are arresting. Telling a story that advocates living boldly over not living at all, Husson has followed suit, opening up exciting new possibilities for her career in the process.”