He’s one of Australia’s highest-profile actors, but in the powerful trailer for The Daughter, Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush doesn’t get to speak on-screen.
The Daughter is the highly anticipated debut feature from Australian theatre director Simon Stone.
It is an adaptation of his stage reinterpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck.
Rush plays Henry Neilson, the wealthy owner of a timber mill that’s about to close. In the trailer, he is a stern-faced, tight-lipped presence.
Off-screen, he says two things: he reveals the age of the woman (Anna Torv) he is about to marry is 31; and he confesses there is something “I’ve never told anyone”.
The trigger for the action in The Daughter is the return from the United States of Neilson’s son, Christian (Paul Schneider), for the wedding; a visit that stirs up simmering resentments and secrets.
The Daughter – which also stars Sam Neill, Miranda Otto and Ewen Leslie and marks the big-screen debut of Odessa Young – debuted at the Sydney Film Festival in June and, internationally, at the Venice Film Festival in September.
It was hailed by Variety as “deeply involving and emotionally searing”, and as marking “a confident and profoundly moving big screen debut” by Stone.
Fairfax’s Garry Maddox said it was “a radical reinvention” of Ibsen’s play, with “much to admire”.
However, some reviewers have delivered mixed assessments.
The Hollywood Reporter judged the film “well-acted but unconvincing”, and Screen Daily said its narrative “wallows in familiar territory”, but praised it, nonetheless, as a “weighty effort” that “succeeds in conveying intimacy and conjuring tension”.
The Daughter opens in Australia next March.