Pin Cushion (2017)***

July 15th, 2018
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Deborah Haywood | Cast: Lily Newmark, Joana Scanlan | UK | Drama |

The age-old subject of bullying is tackled here with tender aplomb by first time writer director Deborah Haywood in her poignant mother daughter buddy movie currently doing the festival rounds and now at Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Iona (Lily Newmark) and her mother Lyn (Joana Scanlan) are trying for a fresh start in a new town, but their close relationship soon comes under pressure largely due to Lyn’s physical challenges, causing Iona to retreat into her own fantasy world in a bid to escape the constant teasing and ridicule from schoolfriends. The deftly entitled PIN CUSHION is very much a contemporary tale highlighting the often claustrophobic nature of today’s nuclear family where mothers often see their world entirely through their daughter’s experiences rather than reaching out for emotional and intellectual fulfilment in their own peer group, partner or even the workplace. While we have every sympathy for Lyn (Scanlan), her life totally revolves around Iona – they share the same hobbies, and even a bed! Not only does this cramp Iona’s style by preventing her developing at school with kids her own age, but it also discourages her mother from reaching out to contacts in her local community which could in turn benefit both mother and daughter, lending her more respect all round. Scanlan’s brilliant performance as a kindly and caring parent is what really makes PIN CUSHION so enjoyable as an insightful look inside the brutally miserable world of the bullied and abused. MT


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