Now in theatres and coming to Prime Video from director Phyllida Lloyd and Amazon Studios is a story of finding a life for HERSELF.
Sandra (Clare Dunne) is a woman with two young daughters and in an abusive relationship. Trying to find housing, she is constantly dealing with the bureaucracy she wants to find another way to create a home for her daughters Molly (Molly McCann) and Emma (Ruby Rose O’Hara).
Working daily taking care of Peggy (Harriet Walter), an elderly woman is a job that keeps her busy while the girls are in school. That is when Sandra gets the idea to find a plot of land and build her home. She meets construction worker Aido (Conleth Hill) and asks him what she would need to make the house happen.
When she cannot get a loan, she confides in Peggy what her plans were going to be. That is when Peggy offers Sandra a plot of land behind her home that has not been used and just seems to collect weeds. Visiting Aido again, Sandra tells him she has the land and even after saying no so many times, he cannot resist helping Sandra.
While the build begins, Sandra’s ex-husband Gary (Ian Anderson) decides to sue her for custody of the two girls. It seems that once again Sandra experiences loss in ways she never thought possible, she wonders if it is all worth fighting for.
Dunne as Sandra is stunning as a woman who has been beaten down literally and emotionally by a husband who clearly has anger issues. Deciding enough is enough, she takes her daughters and try to begin again but the system makes it difficult. Dunne gives us everything and more in portraying this character by way of such a realistic storyline. Well done and sending virtual applause for a wonderful performance.
Walter as Peggy is a woman who is seen as a bit straight forward, but Sandra actually likes that about her. Perhaps its because Sandra is trying to find that in herself and what a better teacher than Peggy. I have seen Walter in so many performances and that beings said she is just a treasure in films. From ATONEMENT to my all-time favorite series Downton Abbey along with my second favorite The Crown.
Hill as Aido is a man who does not want to help Sandra, but something will not let him walk away. He is very frank with her about the money it will take to build a house and that to cut corners does not work with him. Sandra agrees and he is constantly surprised how she rolls up her sleeves because that is how determined she is to make it all happen. Hill may look familiar (it is the hair) than his character in the HBO series Game of Thrones playing Lord Varys. This is a nice change and a great role for Hill.
McCann as Molly and O’Hara as Emma are to young actresses that are just so sweet. They see what their mother is trying to accomplish and get caught up in her dream as they should. Even when things seem to go wrong, right and then wrong again, the girls stand by their mother. These two young actresses are beautiful in their portrayal of girls who have seen more than they should.
Other cast includes Cathy Belton as Jo, Art Kearns as John, Sarah Kinlen as Ms. Breen, Ericka Roe as Amy, Anita Petry as Rosa, Lorcan Cranitch as Michael, Tina Kellegher as Tina, Donking Rongavillas Lazlo, Sean Duggan as Ciaran, Rebecca O’Mara as Grainne, and Dmitry Vinokurov as Dariusz.
Amazon Prime offers television shows and original content included in its Amazon Prime subscription. Original programs such as CARNIVAL ROW, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL are hit shows. Coming soon is the next series with GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton and it promises to another successful and intense series.
HERSELF is a film filled with believability about a woman trying to make a better life for two of the cutest young girls. Trying to break away from an abusive relationship, there is a moment where Sandra has second thoughts believing that perhaps they can be a family, but it only lasts a few seconds. This is realistic on so many levels and for so many people who has believed the very same rhetoric that Gary gives Sandra.
Her focus on a home for her daughters is what moved me deeply because she was not looking for a mansion to live in, just a safe environment for her daughters to be able to play in a yard and sleep in a warm bed. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, especially when she begins to make things happen by talking people into helping.
When she stops believing in herself, it is those friends who remind her that you have to accept the good with the bad, you have to remember that there are those who will do everything possible to crush a dream, but you have to stand up and remember who you are – not who others want you to be.
In the end – her life is under construction!