If I made a list of overlooked films in 2020 that everyone must see, ‘Herself’ would land itself a spot easily. Focusing on Sandra (Clare Dunne), a mother of 2 leaving an abusive home in search for a new life. In her town the housing market is completely unhelpful for her to be able to move forward with a good home for her kids, so, Sandra decided to take on the task of building a house herself.
Through learning to build she comes in contact with a community of people willing to help and build the house and Sandra in the process. This film explores spousal abuse, divorce, the housing crisis and self worth in this heartfelt story directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
First the acting by Clare Dunne is fantastic here. The film has parallels to a recent Oscar winner ‘Room’ starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. Where I think ‘Herself’ differs is in its tone and where they choose to take Sandra vs. ‘Room’ being centered on the mother and son dynamic. There is more hope and joy found in ‘Herself’ that will empower anyone who has gone through a similar tragedy of living with an abusive spouse.
Director Phyllida Lloyd does a fantastic job of centering her story on rebuilding, on moving forward from tragedy and growing from it. The storytelling is very powerful and impactful. If you have a chance to check this film out please do so. It is on Amazon Prime now so check it out!