Mothering Sunday (Blu-ray)

July 1, 2022 5 Min Read
A maid living in post-World War I England secretly plans to meet with the man she loves before he leaves to marry another woman.

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Mothering Sunday isn’t the typical film I am attracted to. It is set in 1924 and is a British film, which I often find cold and distant. To be fair, the film sort of is that way, but it is a bit more effective than most. I think it is the two leads that help make this one more tolerable for me. This is especially true of Odessa Young, who spends a large portion of this film in her birthday suit. I will dive more into her role and the specifics of the plot soon, but she helped make this more enjoyable to me than it might’ve otherwise been.

Set in 1924 on a warm spring day, we follow a housemaid named Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) who finds herself alone on Mother’s Day. She is employed by Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) who go out of town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to spend time with her secret lover, Paul (Josh O’Connor). He is from the manor house, not far away. Not helping matters is the fact that Paul is engaged to another woman. Matters then become more complicated, but that is best for viewers to see unfold.  While familiar, the plot did engage me enough to want to see what would come next.

I would hardly call this a suspenseful film, but it did keep me fairly interested in how things would conclude. One can guess at least some of the plot points a film like this might take, but it did keep me hooked to a point. It isn’t a long film, but there are some occasional slow patches. As mentioned, the leads help make this enjoyable. Odessa Young takes a daring performance which asks a lot of her. She spends much of the film in the nude, so it was certainly a brave career choice. O’Connor does good work as well even if his performance is more restrained. While not something I need to revisit, I feel the film is worth a single viewing if one is in the mood for this sort of film. There are also those who enjoy this genre and style of film more. They might take to it more than me. As it stands, a rental is a decent choice.

Video: How’s it look?

While basic in terms of visuals, the transfer still looks quite nice. There is a clean look to the feature that makes it easy on the eyes. The image is framed at a 1.66:1 ratio, which isn’t the most common, but gives way to the setting and nice backdrops throughout. I feel viewers will be satisfied as I was with the results here.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track is basic, as one might expect, but that isn’t a serious detractor as it serves the film as it should. Vocals were clean sounding and I never had to adjust the volume too much. We get some background noise, but mostly this is a dialogue film and is front heavy.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The disc had to fall short somewhere, and that’s with the lack of extras. All we’re given are far too many trailers.

The Bottom Line

Not the type of film I often enjoy, Mothering Sunday worked better for me than most, which I think is in large part to the leads, especially Odessa Young. The plot is a bit familiar, but it did keep me anxious to see how things would turn out. Rent it.

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