When the cat’s away, the mice will play. That’s the general premise behind Mothering Sunday. Taking a different twist on the Upstairs/Downstairs type story, the movie follows the life of Jane, a housemaid when the master of the house is away. She goes from her service position to falling for a young man above her station in a neighboring home.
The movie follows Jane’s love affair while she works in service of the great house, but also flips to her life after the fact when we find out she’s actually writing about her experience, as she recalls one of the first loves of her life and the heartbreak that shaped the direction of the rest of her life and major decisions she makes for her own future.
The story of Jane and the loves of her life and how each encounter helps shape her future and leads her to where she is meant to be. But the journey to get there is a bit slow. There are scenes of Jane (Odessa Young) just wandering around naked through an empty house after her lover has left. The film seems to focus more on the risks she is willing to take, and a bit on the future she dreams of that is unobtainable.
The romance is the focus of the film, and it seems the world outside it plays no real part. It could benefit from some more external influences in the story. And while the movie does offer a different look at romance and different parts of society at the time, its slower pace may be harder for some viewers to stay engaged and pay attention to the story.
Mothering Sunday will be in select theaters on Friday. While the movie does have a bit of a slower pace, if you’re in the mood for a post-World War I love story that crosses class lines, this just may be the movie for you.
About Mothering Sunday
On a warm spring day in 1924, house maid and foundling Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) finds herself alone on Mother’s Day. Her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman), are out and she has the rare chance to spend quality time with her secret lover. Paul (Josh O’Connor) is the boy from the manor house nearby, Jane’s long-term love despite the fact that he’s engaged to be married to another woman, a childhood friend and daughter of his parents’ friends. But events that neither can foresee will change the course of Jane’s life forever.