UK 87 mins
“Like a big-screen Fleabag, Peter Mackie Burns’ Daphne is a remarkably real and well-realised version of the self-destructive single girl archetype.” – IndieWire
Daphne is 31, flippant, cynical and intelligent – she reads Slavoj Žižek for fun – but also stuck in a rut. Not that she’d ever admit it: her daily life of casual work, casual sex and not-so-casual boozing suits her just fine. Sure, her mother’s ailing health is a problem, but Daphne does her best to ignore it, along with anyone or thing else that threatens to break through her disaffected emotional façade. That is, until an unwelcome encounter on the London streets unexpectedly pushes her over the edge, and she’s finally forced to question her choices.
Compared by many critics to Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret (and by others to Lena Dunham’s Girls), this nuanced debut feature from Peter Mackie Burns walks a tightly wound but always dynamic line between complex comedy and disarming drama. Emily Beecham turns in a superb performance in the title role, unafraid to pull any punches when it comes to her character’s unapologetic honesty, making Daphne a refreshing portrait of contemporary womanhood, in contemporary London.
“A thoughtful and bittersweet take on human connectivity amid inevitable pain … as in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, we’re left with a hopeful, prescriptive vision, that suggests emotionally generous resilience is a widespread, healing counter-force.” – Senses of Cinema