Directed by Peter Mackie Burns
Daphne, 31, Londoner. Busy days, hectic nights, friends, people, lovers, are all welcome distractions from the constant and creeping feeling that her life is somehow stuck. Too young too settle quietly, too old to keep on messing about without aim. One night, an unexpected event slowly but steadily forces her to confront this existential limbo head on, an start looking very closely at the person she has become.
See more films
★★★½ review by Brian Tallerico on Letterboxd
A breakthrough performance.
★★★½ review by Cameron Howe on Letterboxd
Film #12 at EIFF 2017
Peter Mackie Burn's 'Daphne' wasn't exactly what I expected it to be if I'm being honest. Although, I'm not quite sure what I did expect. What I got was a film that wasn't quite sure what it was either. The film follows Daphne a Londoner who witnesses an event that prompts her to re-evaluate her life.
Tonally I thought the film didn't know what it wanted to be. Sometimes it was a romcom, sometimes it was your typical indie drama and even it had a small part as a culinary drama? The narrative never fully ties itself up either instead ending a bit more open which is good for some but I'd of preferred a little more closure on Daphne's story.
On the plus side the films lead Emily Becham is amazing. She portrays her character as funny and bouncy and then progressing into a person that's absolutely broken and alone. The film also has some really striking cinematography. It's colorful and fun but also claustrophobic and lonely which was some of the best parts of the film, admiring this.
★★★½ review by Elya on Letterboxd
Surprisingly more nuanced than the self-destructive single girl trope I was prepared for (but of course they had her character read Zizek for the lol's because you can't stray too far from the playbook).
Anyway. Emily Beecham was wonderful in this and, if I'm not careful enough, I'm going to end up like Daphne at 31.
PS: I'm tagging this as a MIFF movie since it was a MIFF preview. I'll stop saying MIFF now.
★★★★ review by One Room With A View on Letterboxd
There shouldn’t be so much to like about this film. A pitiable misanthrope, Daphne is a hedonistic thirty-something just about getting away with still passing for a twenty-something. Navigating its way through the heady late nights and bleary mornings-after of London’s Elephant and Castle neighbourhood, Peter Mackie Burns’ fast-paced debut feature is, however, something of a treasure.
Skeptics will be pleased to know the film’s title hedonist – when she isn’t snorting “gak” and spouting Freud – works hard to earn an honest wage. She is witness to a traumatic event that – alongside the insecurity of her zero-hour contract – gives her actual reason to dwell on the impermanence of things. While some of her longer speeches are slightly tiring, it is in the witty retorts that Emily Beecham achieves the nuances of her role. Just don’t go on any first dates with her.
It is rare to see a film plot that simply revolves around the daily trials and tribulations of a young metropolitan woman. Often these types of films don’t fare well with critics (see, for example, Peter Bradshaw’s utter blindness to Noah Baumbach’s five-star flick Frances Ha), but there is hope for this one. The well-timed screenplay just about makes it into the film’s cutthroat edit, and is helmed by Beecham’s impressive turn. This is a portrait of the unpredictability of city life, an astute mosaic of crime and retribution that is sharply self-aware. This is certainly one to revisit.
Aware of the clichés of its genre, Daphne is a snapshot of city life bound to make an impression. Peter Mackie Burns’ directorial debut is full of promise. Emily Beecham’s performance makes up for some of the slightly hit-and-miss screenplay.
★★★½ review by Kevin Matthews on Letterboxd
A decent script, and great lead performance from Emily Beecham, makes this a better experience than it otherwise would be.
Intentional or not, I took away a feeling of this being a slightly inverted Blow Up. But it's also just a very good little character study.
- See all reviews