DAPHNE

OUT 29 SEPTEM­BER / CERT 15 / 88 MINS DI­REC­TOR Peter Mackie Burns CAST Emily Beecham, Tom Vaughan-lawlor, Geral­dine James, Nathaniel Martello-white

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN -

THERE’S BEEN A sig­nif­i­cant rise, in re­cent years, in the num­ber of acer­bic, dif­fi­cult and down­right un­pleas­ant women — like this film’s cyn­i­cal epony­mous chef — be­ing main char­ac­ters. Thanks to a stun­ning per­for­mance from lead Emily Beecham and an as­sured hand from debu­tant di­rec­tor Peter Mackie Burns, this feels wel­come. Fiercely in­de­pen­dent and liv­ing a wil­fully sin­gle life, she wit­nesses a stab­bing which throws her life into un­ex­pected cri­sis. It’s a com­pelling char­ac­ter study, and while the film isn’t en­tirely sat­is­fy­ing in the way it ex­plores Daphne’s priv­i­lege or the lim­its of her tiny cri­sis, there’s charm in the awk­ward, heart­felt and funny end­ing that re­deems much of that ear­lier fail­ure.

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