Director Joanna Hogg is celebrated for her sequels, which isn’t something every auteur can boast. Her newest film The Eternal Daughter continues to follow the character of Julie Hart from Hogg’s earlier films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II. The part originally played by Honor Swinton Byrne has been taken over by her mother Tilda Swinton, who also reprises her role as the character’s mother. Basically, she is her own mom.
Aside from the symbolism, part of the casting choice was due to the film being shot during the height of COVID-19 lockdown, and Swinton couldn’t infect herself.
The ghost story’s synopsis reads, “An artist and her elderly mother confront long-buried secrets when they return to a former family home, now a hotel haunted by its mysterious past. Featuring a towering, deeply moving performance by Tilda Swinton, acclaimed filmmaker Joanna Hogg’s beguiling latest film is a brilliant and captivating exploration of parental relationships and the things we leave behind.”
In the creepy trailer, Swinton leads Swinton to a hotel where they appear to be the only guests and the hotel clerk absconds shortly after checking them in. They’re both stirred by haunting memories as they wander through the fog and at one point there is a dog wearing a party hat.
When the film premiered in Venice, Swinton told Deadline, “During The Souvenir, I noticed how different the relationship is of mothers of my age and daughters of my age. We became very interested in that and talked about Rosalind older and Julie older. We always though I would play Julie, and talked about an older performer playing the mother — somehow this very strange impulse took over. Now we see it makes it an entirely different film.”
The Eternal Daughter opens in theaters on Friday, December 2.