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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Matriarch (2022)

Can't beat a good Dickie, I say. Tonally, this is on par with, say, Under The Skin. Sound design is both curious and appropriate, the pacing is languorous and unhurried, whilst visually the cinematography is occasionally eclectic, but more often just plain odd.

Altogether, an uncomfortable out-of-body, out of sorts story of an alcoholic, drug addled female executive (Jemima Rooper) unravelling out of loneliness, whilst trying to maintain her relationships with some and extricate herself from those with others.

Our protagonist is not a bad human, just seemingly lost in the world she tangentially inhabits. When she quits her great job after an aggressive nose bleeding incident, we are already full to the brim with questions about just what is going on. This sets its pitch earlier still, with a naked young man walking in the woods, before disappearing underwater without a word being uttered. Now left to her own devices, and against her better judgement, she goes to visit her estranged Mother (Dickie) for some much needed understanding and comfort. Not the best idea she's ever had, as you can imagine.

The small, rural village in which she was raised remains a picture postcard for the National Trust. A peaceful, safe haven, from a furious intolerable human race. However, not all is as it seems, her Mother being only one example of the slightly askew existence of its inhabitants. Dickie and Rooper are both excellent and the pacing, even at under ninety minutes, is admirable. Never dull due to the continued overtones of malevolence throughout, this takes pleasure in its teasing that truly comes to the fore in a final act that many will see as an suitable, albeit bizarre, payoff.

"You're not my Mother, you're just the cunt I came out of."

Better than I reasonably expected it to be. But saying that, what I got was admittedly unexpected.

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