Discussing Simon Stone’s The Daughter from the 2015 Sydney Film Festival – by Michael Hili
Simon Stone’s feature film directorial debut takes his well- received stage adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck (Belvoir, 2011) and thrusts it onto screen with alarming pace, honesty and astute nuance. Stone, who has had his fair share of interrogation by the theatrical world for his use and interpretation of the classical canon, finds a home on Australian screen.
The Daughter drags the audience feet first through a coming of age story amidst the ignition of a latent time bomb between two intricately connected families. Stone employs his showman qualities serving heavy doses of theatricality and metaphor.
Yet, the glue that holds this emotional rampage together is its visuals. Cinematographer Andrew Commis ACS (Beautiful Kate, The Slap) becomes our anchor guiding the audience with charged mood setting cutaways and well-placed lighting. The Daughter is a self assured film reaping the benefit of some very fine ingredients.
Michael Hili is a video maker and visual artist based in Sydney.