In a world dominated by blockbuster films and Hollywood franchises, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see an indie gem rise to prominence, especially on a platform like Netflix.
Herself, the 2020 Sundance darling, has recently taken Netflix by storm, claiming the tenth spot on the global Netflix top ten (English) films chart. Moreover, this heartwarming drama has garnered a special place in the hearts of viewers across the Americas, landing in the top ten films in 21 countries, from Argentina to Venezuela.
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd and co-written by Clare Dunne, who also stars in the lead role, Herself is a powerful story of resilience and determination. The film follows the journey of Sandra, played by Dunne, a young mother trying to escape an abusive relationship. As she strives to build a better life for herself and her two daughters, she also takes on an ambitious mission to construct her own home, a sanctuary where they can heal and find safety.
Director Phyllida Lloyd shared her perspective on this indie film’s success in light of her theatrical as well as box office triumphs. Best known for directing Mamma Mia! (2008) and The Iron Lady (2011), Lloyd’s all-female adaptation of three Shakespeare plays has also been hailed by critics.
“I had such a curious start – going in at that Hollywood blockbuster level. I’ve been trying to climb back down to earth ever since, ” Lloyd told The Guardian, emphasising, “I don’t want another blockbuster!”
The exceptional performance of Dunne in the role of Sandra earned her critical acclaim and several award nominations. Supporting cast members, including Succession and Ted Lasso actor Harriet Walter and Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill, also add to the charm of this small film.
You can watch Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself on Netflix and catch the trailer here: