Archipelago (2014)


Critic Consensus: Sad, funny, and wise in equal measure, Archipelago finds writer-director Joanna Hogg in remarkably strong, confident form.


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Movie Info

ARCHIPELAGO is a quietly devastating portrayal of a family in emotional crisis. Edward (Tom Hiddleston) is preparing to leave for a year of voluntary service in Africa. His mother Patricia (Kate Fahy) and his sister Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) decide to gather the family together, on a remote island, as a farewell trip to say goodbye to Edward. Hired cook Rose (Amy Lloyd) and painting teacher Christopher (Christopher Baker), though bought in to help, only serve to bring the family's anxieties into sharper focus. When Edward's father is delayed, the unspoken forces of absence and loss bring the family's buried anger and repressed tension to the surface. (C) Kino

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Critic Reviews for Archipelago

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

In scene after scene, meaning sneaks in and sometimes roars.

Jun 26, 2014 | Full Review…

This is a beautifully distilled and literally still work that lingers in the mind long after its conclusion.

Jun 23, 2014 | Full Review…

Gloomy and unrewarding.

Mar 8, 2011 | Full Review…

Archipelago is a subtle film of sensed absences.

Mar 7, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a difficult watch and a difficult sell, but this is quietly outstanding.

Mar 3, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

'Archipelago' confirms Hogg as a daring and mischievous artist, and a major British talent whose next move will be intriguing.

Mar 2, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Archipelago


Beautifully filmed and naturally acted, the simmering tensions which give way to arguments often heard but not seen feel real and incisive. But it is hard to care too much about these characters' thoughts, feelings and motivations when they are clearly so STAGGERINGLY WEALTHY that they can afford a getaway to the very expensive Isles of Scilly *AND* employ a full time cook/maid/cleaner and pursue activities such as painting, picnics, dining at expensive restaurants and "gap years" in Africa. But for all that there's genuine visual style, superb performances and the conjuring of mood that at times often feels mysterious.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

This is definitely something more reserved for the 'higher-thinkers' or 'artists' amongst us. I appreciate what the director intended to do and what she has done, however for me personally, it didn't make a great film. I didn't really like any of the characters too much (except Edward and Rose) and when, towards the end of the film, I see a close up of one of the main characters and don't recognize her, there's a problem. I presume the constant static wide and long shots that capture the whole scene rather than cutting between different shots is supposed to represent some sort of fly on the wall Italian neorealism but I just didn't like it. At times it as great and really fueled the tension and awkwardness of what was happening, but at other times I almost screamed for closer shots. Not something I'd watch or even mention again.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

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