The fascinating actress, Tilda Swinton, gives a pitch-perfect performance that traverses the wide-ranging emotions — tenderness, sadness, yearning, powerlessness, regret — of the mother-daughter relationship. The Eternal Daughter, the latest in a series of artistic collaborations between Swinton and director Joanna Hogg (prior forays, The Souvenir, Parts I & II), never jars as it moves inexorably toward the mother’s demise. The movie’s setting — a memory-laden mansion —gives a run for the money to other great decrepit buildings of cinema: in Rosemary’s Baby, The Haunting, and more recently, The Humans. I found the film immensely moving, and Swinton, in her double role, nothing less than a marvel to watch.
Wow. Don’t mess with artist/photographer Nan Goldin. In Laura Poitras‘s neatly assembled documentary, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Goldin is revealed as a survivor. She’s deeply scarred by her dysfunctional family; she’s an alum of mean streets the likes of which no nice Jewish girl from suburbia should encounter; and as the creator of very difficult art, she has had to navigate the male-dominated art world. Unluckily for the blandly named Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Goldin, like so many others, found herself in the clutches of the highly addictive, even lethal, painkiller, OxyContin. Again surviving, she determined to do something about it. Goldin’s leadership of a gutsy, on-message take-down of the arts-loving family behind Purdue, the Sacklers, makes for revelatory story-telling. An added plus is the skillfully interwoven saga of the artist’s personal life. Highly recommended.