A mother tells a lie to protect her son, ripping apart their family and close-knit community in this sweepingly emotional drama.
A mother (Emily Watson) tells a lie to protect her son (Paul Mescal), ripping apart their family and close-knit community in this sweepingly emotional drama.
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Aileen (Emily Watson) is a maternal figure among the women she works with at a fish-processing factory, but is distant from her adult daughter (Toni O’Rourke), who recently became a mother herself. When Aileen’s son Brian (Paul Mescal, who appeared in TIFF ’22 selections Carmen and Aftersun) suddenly returns to their small town with little explanation ― other than some plans to reopen an oyster farm despite previously saying he hated the fishing business ― it becomes clear which of Aileen’s children is the favourite. While Aileen welcomes Brian with open arms, not everyone in the family or their community does ― in particular, his ex-girlfriend (Aisling Franciosi), who broke his heart years ago. Aileen’s loyalty to her son is made even more obvious, and yet infinitely more complicated, when a sexual assault charge is brought against Brian, and she quickly and blindly offers up a false alibi to protect him. Her decision is the first domino to fall, causing a series of tragedies that threaten to tear apart their town.
Directed by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer (The Fits) and featuring stark imagery by cinematographer Chayse Irvin (BlacKkKlansman, Beyonce’s Lemonade), God’s Creatures is a timely examination of the ways in which we protect men and discredit women, often with traumatic results.
Content advisory: themes of sexual assault, coarse language