Eternal Beauty (15)

Eternal Beauty (15)

Director: Craig Roberts

Runtime: 1hr35m

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Alice Lowe, Billie Piper, Robert Pugh, Morfydd Clark, Paul Hilton, Boyd Clack, Elysia Welch, David Thewlis, Penelope Wilton, Boyd Clack, Robert Aramayo

Synopsis: When Jane is dumped at the altar, she has a breakdown and spirals into a chaotic world, where love (both real and imagined) and family relationships collide with both touching and humorous consequences.


UK actor, writer, and director Craig Roberts follows up his directorial debut [Just Jim (2015)] with the rhapsodic, dizzyingly inventive film, Eternal Beauty – a dark comedy which follows Jane (Sally Hawkins), a woman living with schizophrenia and navigating a relationship with fellow lost soul Mike (David Thewlis) amid interference from her family. The film explores love, the lasting pain of rejection, loneliness, the impersonal way society deals with mental illness, and the experience of the outsider. Soulful and deeply moving, it delivers an emotional kick as the narrative slips between two time frames, as the present often glides into the past world of Jane and her sisters in their late-teenager years. When seen through Jane’s eyes, the action has a shifting, kaleidoscopic quality. As her mental health fluctuates and the voices in her head come and go, her very surroundings seem to ebb and flow.

Director of Photography Kit Fraser expertly lightens and darkens his palette, with décor transitions from shabby and oppressive to neat and sunny.

After Jane falls into a state of despair over her schizophrenia, she encounters new sources of love and life with surprising results when she develops a budding romance with a failed musician, Mike who has bipolar disorder.

By creating a refreshingly different look at schizophrenia and mental health that neither demonises nor patronises, Roberts demonstrates that he is an auteur to watch.

The extraordinary, Sally Hawkins [The Shape of Water (2017), Paddington 2 (2017), Maudie (2016), Paddington (2014)] inhabits the role of Jane, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in her 20s. She lives independently and remains upbeat and determined,  easily the nicest person in her dysfunctional, self-centred family of mum Vivian (Penelope Wilton), dad Dennis (Robert Pugh) and sisters Nicola (Billie Piper) and Alice (Alice Lowe), with Morfydd Clark as the younger Jane.

An atmospheric score is provided by Michael Price, with in addition new arrangements of some classic tunes like ‘Blue Skies’.

Eternal Beauty is an extremely empathetic and empowering take on mental illness, told with deadpan wit, imagination and style.


In cinemas and on demand

Images courtesy of Bulldog