The second feature from award-winning writer-director Joanna Hogg, 'Archipelago' is an excruciatingly honest and darkly comic deconstruction of middle class sensibilities in its portrayal of a family on holiday and in crisis.
Edward (Tom Hiddleston) arrives on a remote island off the English coast, to join his mother and sister who have organised the family holiday to say goodbye to Edward before he embarks on a year of voluntary service in Africa. Hired cook Rose and painting teacher Christopher join the family in their rustic cottage and on day trips around the island. But Edward's father repeatedly fails to join the gathering, instead communicating with his wife and children via a series of increasingly strained phone-calls. His absence serves to bring the family's buried anger and repressed emotions to the surface and underlying tensions are gradually revealed through raw scenes of bitter sibling rivalry and marital disharmony.
★★★★★ "It's a difficult watch and a difficult sell, but this is quietly outstanding" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"Joanna Hogg is another great narrative director who comes out of an experimental film background. The absurd propriety in 'Archipelago' somehow emphasises the isolation, disfunction, and longing of the various characters. It's also unnervingly funny at times" - Peter Strickland