The Daughter

Poster for The Daughter

A young man returns to his dying hometown and discovers a dark family secret that could tear apart the lives of those he left behind in this contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play The Wild Duck.

After a 15-year absence, Christian (Paul Schneider, Lars and the Real Girl) returns to his family home in rural New South Wales for the marriage of his father, Henry (Geoffrey Rush, The Book Thief, The King’s Speech), the wealthy owner of the local mill that has been the economic bedrock of the community for generations. Christian gets reacquainted with his old friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie) and finds himself drawn to Oliver’s family, which includes wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young), and father-in-law Walter (Sam Neill, Hunt for the Wilderpeople). When Henry announces the imminent closure of the mill, it sends a quake through the community, particularly Oliver’s family, and the subsequent fissures release bitter secrets.

Stone allows his fine cast every opportunity to make Ibsen’s classic tale their own, with atmospheric support from cinematographer Andrew Commis (who creates a disarming intimacy with his use of the handheld camera) and composer Mark Bradshaw, who provides a lush, brooding score. While dysfunction and deception lie at the core of The Daughter, there is hope as well, with each of the characters imagining something better: a future unencumbered by the sins and betrayals of the past.

“Theater director Simon Stone delivers a powerful, low-key yet achingly intense reimagining of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck.” (Eddie Cockrell, Variety)

“A highly polished film that belies the soap opera melodrama of its plotline by having the twists and turns spring directly from well-observed human behavior, Stone’s The Daughter is a quiet, immensely affecting triumph.” (Jessica Kiang, The Playlist)