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Herself

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Ireland, United Kingdom

2020

Rated R • 1h 37m

Director Phyllida Lloyd

Starring Clare Dunne, Molly McCann, Ruby Rose O'Hara, Ian Lloyd Anderson

Genre Drama

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Struggling to provide her daughters with a safe, happy home after fleeing an abusive relationship, Sandra decides to build one herself—from scratch. Using all her ingenuity to make her ambitious dream a reality, Sandra draws together a community to lend a helping hand to build her house and ultimately recover her own sense of home.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

The Film Stage by

Regardless of missteps with the ending, the majority of Herself is soulful and empathetic enough to do justice to its subject, doing the important job of reminding audiences everywhere how important community truly is for survivors.
70

Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

Whenever Herself settles into predictability, the strength of Dunne’s performance pulls that comfortable rug away. And if her screenplay and her acting helps audiences understand what it is to be homeless, to be vulnerable in this way, Herself will have been a A-grade build by an A-list team.
83

IndieWire by Kate Erbland

Lloyd’s feature strikes a fine balance between all of life’s ups and downs, illustrated by Sandra’s unfortunately relatable traumas and a series of stellar performances.
50

The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin

The idyll is all so jolly that when the film swerves into misfortune in the final act, it feels not like a necessary dramatic corrective but just a dreary downer, like medicine there to stop the spoonfuls of sugar from going down so easily.
80

CineVue by Matthew Anderson

Phyllida Lloyd’s strong third feature, Herself, is as much an indictment of the grinding bureaucracy failing to house and protect women abused at the hands of their partners, as it is the men who inflict such despicable physical and psychological trauma.
100

Variety by Peter Debruge

Many filmmakers mistakenly think that exploiting tragedy is the way to jerk tears from their audience, when in fact, gestures of spontaneous kindness shown by near-strangers can be most moving — something Lloyd understands, boosting the positive energy with anthems like “Chandelier” and “Bulletproof.”
60

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

Beneath the mounting contrivances, Dunne’s sturdy performance supplies an earnest core which Lloyd should have trusted more completely.

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