Dir/Wri: Antonia Campbell-Hughes | Cast: Cosmo Jarvis, Rhys Mannion, Claes Bang | Drama
This enigmatically titled thriller is the confident feature debut of seasoned actor Antonia Campbell Hughes who certainly knows how to create atmosphere even if her writing needs some fine-tuning.
Cosmo Jarvis leads in a pent-up performance as Hamish Considine a nihilistic young man whose past comes back to bite him with tragic consequences after a motorway accident unleashes a lifetime of suppressed emotional baggage.
Campbell Hughes creates a terrific sense of place in the rain-lashed countryside of Ireland, And it’s here where Hamish returns to visit the grave of his Irish-born aunt and deal her estate – a desolate house – on behalf of his pragmatic father, an expat businessman (a bearded Claes Bang who we only see on zoom). Outwardly blasé and self-assured Hamish soon turns out to be anything but after his car collides with another vehicle setting in course a cataclysmic chain of events as he pieces together his childhood to makes sense of the present.
The crash has destabilised Hamish physically and mentally but he shrugs it off stoically discharging himself from hospital too early with a severe concussion. When the only survivor of the other vehicle – a 17 year old livewire called Evan (a brilliant Mannion) – drops round to the house the two develop an almost surreal bond as Hamish is sucked into his mother’s homeland, feeling a palpable connection with the locals who share their own experiences of growing up with her and her sister.
A humble cow in Evan’s family farm becomes the symbol of this cherished motherhood and the fear of her being slaughtered in the abattoir nearby has Hamish reliving the devastation of losing his own mother when he was only a boy. Evan’s volatile personality comes to represent a seething life-force for Hamish drawing him inexorably to the past until he realises there is no going back and no way forward. It Is In Us All is not much of a thriller, in the traditional sense, but certainly a spellbinding look at how places create emotional memories that bind us eternally to the past. MT
UK AND IRISH CINEMA AND DIGITAL RELEASE DATE 23 SEPTEMBER 2022