When a Dublin mother of two young girls escapes her abusive husband, she faces a new adversary that’s nearly as formidable: the grinding government housing bureaucracy. Tired of her temporary shelter but offered only total dumps in which to live, she hits on the idea of building her own, affordable small house.

Of course, she has no idea how to do this, but through sheer grit and – key to the movie’s emotional punch – the spontaneous kindnesses of near-strangers, she begins to build her home and rebuild her life. 

Now, this kind of thing can veer easily into “it takes a village” hokeyness, but thanks to a quietly powerful lead performance by Clare Dunne (who also wrote it, with a bit of polishing by Malcolm Campbell) and the assured, balanced direction by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, The Iron Lady), not to mention a stellar supporting cast, the final product is a big-hearted, real-world, and satisfying movie experience. On Amazon. (97 min)

Japan release date: April 2, 2021

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