Esme, My Love: Review

Esme, My Love: Review

Hannah (Stacey Weckstein) has a somewhat troubled relationship with her daughter, Esme (Audrey Grace Marshall) and upon realising her daughter may have a terminal illness, she seizes the opportunity to bond before it’s too late. Realising that they may not have much time together, Hannah organises a trip away into the woods so they can spend some time together and bond.

However, once they’re there then Hannah’s behaviour changes and despite them being closer than they’ve ever been before, something is different. With Hannah hearing things and experiencing visions, the audience may start to wonder what’s driving her motives, but when all is revealed a far darker story is unravelled.

Esme, My Love is a supernatural drama directed by Cory Choy in his feature debut and co-written by Laura Allen. Something of a slow burn, the film puts Hannah and Esme out in the wild forest and yet makes them feel isolated despite the wide, open space.

The relationship between mother and daughter feels tense as well. Esme is perhaps like any other girl her age and feels distant from her mother, yet there are mixed emotions from Hannah as to where the boundaries in their relationship lies.

Both Weckstein and Marshall play their respective roles with a convincing authenticity and the audience can feel their relationship being somewhat contentious, but also a little understandable. However, it’s the slow reveal of what’s happening to Hannah and what could be out there in the woods could draw in audiences. Steeped in metaphor, Esme, My Love may not be for everybody, but for those with patience, it may give them a satisfying experience.

Whilst perhaps not the whole focus, the supernatural element may be the most interesting. That’s because as far as the audience are concerned, that’s probably what they came for. However, director Choy hides the intentions with ambiguity whilst delivering some memorable visuals which may have the audience constantly change their minds.

At a time where cinema is perhaps trying to deliver films to audiences that they think they want and maybe not what they need, Esme, My Love is a good reminder that striking and original cinema still exists.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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