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Archipelago [DVD]

Price: £6.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Archipelago [DVD] + Unrelated [2007] [DVD] + The Deep Blue Sea [2011] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Baker, Kate Fahy, Lydia Leonard, Amy Lloyd
  • Directors: Joanna Hogg
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MP8LUU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,258 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


With her son Edward (Tom Hiddleston star of the forthcoming Thor & The War Horse) about to embark on a volunteer trip to Africa, doting mother Patricia wants to give him a good send-off, and gathers her family together for a getaway to a holiday home on idyllic Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly. Edward's father's attendance is eagerly anticipated, though sister Cynthia appears to be there under some duress, going through dutiful motions. Gradually, deep fractures within the family set-up begin to surface in this eagerly awaitied second feature from director Joanna Hogg

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By wabrit on 1 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
The reviews of this film are for me almost as interesting as the film itself; especially the negative ones, as there seems to be a wish to expose the film as an "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon, and to go beyond subjective criticism of the film itself in order to characterise those who have expressed a positive opinion as either wilfully misleading or bamboozled by the desire to appear arty or pretentious. The need to attack holders of a contrary view, and to congratulate each other on having "found out" the film, might say something more about the reviewers themselves than the inherent qualities (or otherwise) of the film.

So (getting off the fence) I really liked this film, and I admire Joanna Hogg for producing an original and thought-provoking chamber piece; setting a contemporary drama (as she did with her previous film Unrelated) amongst the upper middle classes is going to be a red rag to a bull for some, and I think the reviews just go to show that class still plays a fairly large role in the nation's psyche.

As the title suggests, the characters in the film are lost in their own familial and personal archipelago, cast off from each other like the isles of Scilly through their inability to communicate emotionally; money and the benefits of a privileged upbringing are no guarantees to happiness.

That being said, there's no doubt the film is not "fast", nor does it wear its dramatic heart on it's sleeve (but anyone who's sat in hideous embarrassment around a dinner table while a blazing row takes place in the next room will be getting their moneys' worth of angst during this film), and neither does it attempt to show off Tresco as a desirable holiday destination. If you like slow-burning drama, and a British film that isn't afraid to take a road less travelled, then you might like this.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Coyle on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD
I don't really know what to think of Archipelago, I didn't have any negative feelings towards it, but despite the presence of some positive ones I don't know if I could claim to have 'liked' it. It's one of, if not the least cinematic film I've ever watched. It doesn't so much have a narrative as simply a series of situations in this family's holiday and the mundane conversations, or quite often lack of conversations, they have throughout. What compelled me to watch the whole film was the realism of the interactions, the relatability of the inconsequential dialogue and its regular awkwardness, the time given to an awkward lack of interaction, these aspects made it seem like a fly on the wall documentation of a families experiences and I found it interesting to watch the relationships. Things occured and no-one had changed or achieved anything by the end of it. I imagine it was the equivalent of spending a week rudely watching and listening to some strangers staying at the same holiday resort as you, except one of them is Tom Hiddleston.
And thats it really, I find it hard to work out the benefit of its existence, it didn't affect me, move me, make me laugh, there's little genuine drama, it's just there. Often simple or unenventful stories or situations are elevated in film by interesting cinematography, editing, music or... something, but here, no. Any directorial style that is present is as mundane as the subject (I think it might actually have been directed by a simple robotic system), the camera just sits there doing nothing but acting simply as a tool with which to see this family and their surroundings, again making it seem more like a fly on the wall/documentary experience. There is no soundtrack, or if there was I don't remember it. The editing is as simple as it gets.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Rodick TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
Archipelago is not a wonderful film. It is one of the few films that dares to analyse the middle-class mindset. It is an intriguing portrayal of loneliness. Be prepared to visit a cold climate of angst.

A family holiday is a rented house in a baron landscape. A painter is hired to assist them with their artistic bent. A young female cook supplements her income as their cook/housemaid. Pheasant are killed especially for them. Two lobsters are also caught for £35 without so much as a pause in the sale. We don't see the fisherman hand over the £5 change. Such things are completely unimportant. And taken for granted.

The layers of the film are to be enjoyed. The painter provides 'chaos.' The juxtaposition of art and life is rendered through words and pictures. The telephone in the confined corner is a masterstroke. As are the doors, the pale shades of walls and the missing painting. When the family each in turn say good-bye to the house I see and hear lives as empty as the restaurant they all dined at. Just once.

Only the painter has an unconditional relationship but that is with his creative spirit. The cook is strong enough to step aside. It is the family who have suffered as individuals. Never been loved. Their relationships conditional, disciplined and defined. A change of scene, equally well ordered, is their only form of hope.

Can I recommend this film? It is up to you. I enjoy original filmmaking which keeps me watching, wondering. Thinking after the facts. With time.
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