Two for Joy
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Two for Joy

Considering that Samantha Morton has two Oscar nominations (for Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown and Jim Sheridan’s In America), she’s been disappointingly absent from the screen over the last several years. She has been active in British television, and now she makes an impressive return to films in Two for Joy, which had its world premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. All of the acting is strong in this disturbing domestic drama, though it’s questionable whether the downbeat subject matter will bring the film much distribution outside the U.K. Morton, Billie Piper, Daniel Mays and some eloquent child actors deserve to have their work seen and appreciated.

Writer-director Tom Beard takes a fairly minimalist approach to the subject of depression and family dysfunction. He plunges us into the characters’ world without providing much exposition. Aisha (played by Morton) is a severely depressed woman, and we only gradually discover the reasons. She is charged with the care of a teenage daughter and a younger son but seems barely able to manage herself, let alone the problems of her children. The daughter is angry about the responsibility placed on her, and the young son barely speaks at all, finding his only solace in his favorite hobby of fishing.

Duration: 86 min



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