The Eternal Daughter Movie Review

“The Eternal Daughter” is labeled a mystery, thriller and, through the trailer, sold as somewhat of a ghost story. Imagine my surprise when halfway through the hour-and-a-half movie, I hadn’t received a storyline matching either of the descriptions I had been expecting. I was perplexed. However, I do acknowledge that what I saw was spectacular beauty. I also witnessed one of my favorite actresses make it impossible for me to turn away from the screen.

Though nothing much had happened as far as a fright, the way she moved about this beautiful hotel kept me entertained and delighted. The location and set decorations were breathtaking.


The film is about a very earnest and eager-to-please daughter, Julie (Swinton), who takes her mother, Rosalind, also played by Swinton, to this hotel because it was where her mother grew up. At dinner, Julie asks her mother about the room where they dine. Rosalind describes it very differently. It was a drawing room with big couches that, as a child, she would jump and bounce upon. She admits now to being unsettled in the hotel. This bothers Julie, who wants only to please her mother, not upset her in any way.


The cinematography will unsettle the audience, actually. The entire film has an eerie feeling to it. There’s a lot of fog, or there’s darkness. No in-between. The hotel receptionist, played by Carly-Sophia Davies, is cold and hard toward Julie. She doesn’t seem to want to help with anything, staring at Julie as if she’s not welcome. Why is this? You’ll have to watch to find out. Joanna Hogg, with films such as the related “The Souvenir” and “The Souvenir: Part II,” is good at keeping you guessing, and “The Eternal Daughter” is no different.

Outside of the receptionist, you see no one else, adding to the mystery surrounding their stay. Seeing a somewhat ghostly figure watch her from a window as she walks her dog is both good and bad. Is someone else there, or is this place haunted? Which is better at this point? While her mother sleeps, Julie meets an older man named Bill (Joseph Mydell). Bill worked on the grounds with his wife for years. She was the chef for several decades before she died a few years previously. He knows nothing else, so he has stayed on, helping where needed. Doing his rounds makes him think of the old times. Luckily, this also gives Julie a sense of calm. Maybe it’s a good thing she came after all. But with each creek of the floors above her, she can’t tell.


A filmmaker, Julie wants to get to know her mother more by making a film about her. Heartbreakingly, but good for her movie, Rosalind drops more information about her life at the estate than Julie ever expected. Several surprising stories come out that shock and unnerve Julie. The longer they’re there, the more of her mother’s experiences spill from her mouth. She questions whether she was a good wife. She mentions the child she lost in the same room they sleep in now. Film or not, maybe Julie isn’t doing right by her mother. However, Swinton is doing right by us by playing two characters deep in conversation, brilliantly displaying the differences between parent and child. I hope you don’t see what’s coming at the end. The film has some pacing issues, so settle in, watch, and enjoy. It’s not a long trip to get there, so, instead of trying to guess the ending, enjoy the story that’s unraveling before you.

The Eternal Daughter


Written & Directed by: Joanna Hogg
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Carly-Sophia Davies, Joseph Mydell

Rated: PG-13 (Some Drug Material)
Runtime: 1h 36m
Genres: Mystery & Thriller, Drama

Distributed by: A24


*Release Date (Theaters): Dec 2, 2022 Limited

*Release Date (Streaming): Dec 2, 2022

See it in Phoenix at Harkins Shea 14


Rating contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

What's your take?

Free movie screenings and more.
Watch movies with friends.


No comments yet