The worst part of doing reviews can often be the commercial images that are supplied to promote a film. HERSELF, an Irish, feel good but with a clout of domestic abuse, film is a great example of this. This rather compelling story sees Sandra (Clara Dunne) escape her abusive, controlling husband to break out into the world with her children. The problem is that her life is on pause, stuck in a hotel room. Temporarily living in a airport hotel seems to becoming a long term thing and Sandra wants something more. There is a three-year waiting list for social housing, no chance to afford a home in her native Dublin and no desire to return back to her broken home, Sandra decides to take matters into her own hands and build herself a house.

HERSELF is a rewarding piece of important modern cinema from Ireland. Irish cinema is riding a wave of high swells and skilled navigators. It is also attracting solid international attention. Director Phyllida Lloyd of THE IRON LADY takes the helm, directing with an urgency but empathy, which is visually palpable. However native born Clare Dunne, co-writer and star of HERSELF, has played the piece to perfection. You may remember her from THE LAST DUEL or SPIDERMAN, you will remember her for this film. Her blending of the emotional with immediacy and intelligence is mesmeric. It makes the whole film connect and also allows the pay off to hit home and maybe hit the old tear duct also. I loved it and I hope so will you.

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