Coming from writer/director Joe Marcantonio, Jason McColgan and IFC Films is a tale of facing the KINDRED.
Charlotte (Tamara Lawrance) is very happy living with boyfriend Ben (Edward Holcroft) and they have plans for their future. The problem is telling Ben’s mom Margaret (Fiona Shaw) and Thomas (Jack Lowden). When their announcement is not well received, Ben makes it clear that it does not change their plans.
At work Charlotte is not feeling well and friend Jane (Chloe Pirrie) takes her to the doctor discovering she is pregnant. Not sure this is what she wants, Ben is thrilled, and Margaret sees this as a reason to change their moving plans.
After a tragic accident, Jane stays with Margaret while dealing with her grief. Thomas is constantly making sure that she has everything she needs. Day by day Charlotte learns what Margaret is controlling her life.
Charlotte is not about to give up any part of her life to the dilapidated mansion, Margaret or anyone else who tries to stand in her way.
Lawrance as Charlotte loves working with animals and life with Ben. Believing that their change of address is a good thing, she supports Ben’s announcement to the family. When her life changes, Lawrance portrays a woman who is not ready for what is waiting for her. Yet, there are moments of pure brilliance when the mixture of reality and history come into play.
Shaw as Margaret has the keen ability to be disturbing without actually being outwardly disturbing. Her words are sharp and cutting, mainly aimed at Charlotte firmly believing they wouldn’t even be considering moving if it wasn’t for her. Of course, there is a history and mystery to Margaret and Shaw keeps it going throughout the film. Margaret is much like the house – run down but never giving an ounce of pride away.
Lowden as Thomas is a member of the family in a way that does not please Ben in the slightest. Once Charlotte is in the house, he tries to do whatever it takes to make her happy and feel safe. Like Charlotte, there are moments of naivete mixed with a deep, dark story underneath. This character is a complete mystery until the very last frame.
Other cast include Toyah Frantzen as the Doctor, Nyree Yergainharsian as Doctor Rios, Natalia Kostrzewa as Betty, Kiran Sawar as Linsey, and Anton Lesser as Dr. Richards.
IFC Films is a leading distributor of quality talent-driven independent films. Some of the company’s successes include BOYHOOD, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, CHE, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. For more information on films from IFC please visit www.ifcfilms.com.
KINDRED is a reminder – KNOW THE FAMILY YOU’RE MESSING WITH. Yes, I put those in caps because this film gave me the creeps from start to finish. From the house to those living in it, there is a history, a mystery and something peculiar about them all. The house is actually a silent character that keeps the secrets but also can’t help but show the viewer a peek into everything.
This film is also a bit reminiscent of ROSEMARY’S BABY (minus the devil although Margaret and Thomas as devil-ish), HUSH (1998) with Jessica Lange as Martha Baring and a few other films. Not that I am complaining mind you, if you can take a theme and go in a different direction and not have it be completely obvious then I’m all for it.
Prepare to believe, disbelieve, puzzle and unravel the past of all those living under one roof.
In the end – mother knows best!