Jonathon (Sebastian Koch) is a novelist struggling to reach the heights of a successful book he wrote in his younger years. Emelia (Jessica Brown Findlay), a rebellious and opinionated teenager, is an aspiring writer herself, who begins working at the hotel owned by Jonathon and his family. She befriends his daughter Beth (Felicity Jones), who, in stark contrast, is a well-mannered but repressed girl, holding aspirations of an Oxford education.
As the characters attempt to help one another with their different issues, and through some misguided decisions, lessons are learned, tears are shed and overall a touching piece of comedy-drama emerges.
Findlay delivers a knock-out performance as Emelia, who is the catalyst for the events that take place. She is bold, and at times brash, but brilliantly so, and delivers countless moments of both sharp wit and tenderness in truly outstanding fashion. Koch is infinitely entertaining as the hopeless Jonathon, belittled by his wife and at times absurdly self-important. Felicity Jones mustn’t be overlooked either, playing her part in proceedings as Beth begins to come out of her shell.
The characters are complimented by some accomplished, artistic and arresting camera work, which aligns perfectly with a fitting soundtrack and score, seamlessly blending acoustics with more classic accompaniments.
But the real strength in Albatross is in the shrewd writing that brings meaning to each character, the effect they have on one another and ultimately the effect that expectations and even success can have on someone’s life.
Through Tamzin Rafn’s clever and witty script, some striking visuals, an enchanting soundtrack and a mesmerising performance from Jessica Brown Findlay, Albatross offers a well balanced experience of humour and tenderness that makes it a must-see British film.