Herself (2020)

Herself (2020)

2020 R 97 Minutes


Struggling to provide her daughters with a safe, happy home, Sandra decides to build one - from scratch. Using all her ingenuity to make her ambitious dream a reality, Sandra draws together a commu...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    7 / 10
    I wanted there to be a lot more for me to say about the deep emotional context of what “Herself” had to offer. And while I do in fact have something to say about it, what we got here was, more or less, slightly above average. Thankfully, there’s a lot for me to appreciate about this movie outside of Clare Dunne’s stunning breakout performance (and her serving as co-writer).

    Just like The Invisible Man, this empowering story actually takes its time to deal with important issues that, in other movies, would often be swept under the rug way too easily while also detailing how badly it also affects the children and how the worst in situations can often bring people together. Given that there have been reports of domestic abuse increasing during the pandemic, this film was released in a very timely matter in a hopeful, uplifting and informative light. Cinematography and editing pose no immediate issue, most of the performances are memorable and director Phyllida Lloyd does a impeccable job centering down on the situation at hand as best she could to make the story as relatable as possible. By far, the films major caveat is its loss of balance between the first and second act transition. While it’s not hard to overlook how the lack of affordable housing and the urgent social need in places like Dublin lead to the events of the plot happening, it struggles to maintain a balance between a heart-warming story of a tenacious mother and commentary on a system that has no place for those so independent minded. What also doesn’t help is the presence of some clichés and how straightforward they play out here and some weird editing cuts.

    So yeah, the execution wasn’t the smoothest but what Phyllida Lloyd and Clare Dunne did here, you can’t overlook that.