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700 Ratings


Directed by Joanna Hogg
United Kingdom, 2010


With her son Edward about to embark on a volunteer trip to Africa, doting mother Patricia wants to give him a good send-off, and gathers her family together for a getaway to a holiday home on the idyllic Isles of Scilly. But gradually, deep fractures within the family set-up begin to surface.

Our take

In British director Joanna Hogg’s second film, co-starring Tom Hiddleston, a family vacation pushes and prods the limits of relationships and the spaces that define and confine them.

Archipelago Directed by Joanna Hogg

Critics reviews

It is like the film in miniature; it mimics the way in which director Joanna Hogg carefully assigns the camera its place, and lets the emotions swell between the characters within the frame; the way in which the quiet, polite Leightons each try to maintain composure despite their growing upset.
February 02, 2019
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In some movies, especially those operating under the self-conscious rubric of the art film, such choices can feel emptily ritualistic. In “Archipelago,” the long shots serve a more basic function: They allow you to see, really see, characters in their natural and unnatural habitats. It’s not for nothing that when you first see the family’s cook, Rose (Amy Lloyd), the shot cuts off her head: it’s a virtual beheading that announces her place in this exquisite, terrible world.
June 26, 2014
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Archipelago is that rare British film that doesn’t neglect form for content, or vice versa, but instead belongs to a trend of rich, suggestive art films that take as their starting points people and the daily politics that emerge between them, developing character and dramatic tension by following through with honesty the repeated rituals of everyday life.
March 26, 2011
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