With her son Edward (Tom Hiddleston) about to embark on a volunteer trip to Africa, doting mother Patricia (Kate Fahy) wants to give him a good send-off, and gathers her family together for a getaway to a holiday home on idyllic Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly. Edward’s father’s attendance is eagerly anticipated, though sister Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) appears to be there under some duress, going through dutiful motions. Cook Rose (Amy Lloyd) is happy to tend to the family, though her presence causes some discomfort. The holidaymakers spend their time walking, cycling, taking picnics and being tutored in oil painting, appreciating the breathless beauty of their surroundings. Gradually, deep fractures within the family set-up begin to surface. One of the most eagerly anticipated features of the year, Joanna Hogg’s follow up to Unrelated serves as a worthy companion piece to her brilliant and acclaimed debut, as she continues to make astute and authoritative observations on the malaises of the middle-class, extracting sometimes painful drama from incidental events. Archipelago confirms Hogg as one of the most intriguing and vital voices in modern British cinema.
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