‘God’s Creatures’ Review: Emily Watson and Paul Mescal Put Maternal Loyalties to the Test in a Potent Irish Tragedy

‘God’s Creatures’ Review: Emily Watson and Paul Mescal Put Maternal Loyalties to the Test in a Potent Irish Tragedy
It’s not that we haven’t seen Emily Watson on screen recently — it just feels a long time since any film really made us look at her. Somehow knowing and guileless and haunted at once, her piercing, pale-eyed gaze made an immediate mark in film history with her debut in “Breaking the Waves” a quarter-century ago, but it’s been an underused natural resource of late: TV has been more generous, but the movies have confined her to stock mom-and-wife supporting roles for years. She’s a mom and wife again in “God’s Creatures,” an unexpected pivot of a sophomore feature from American duo Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer. The difference is a film with an acute interest in sidelined mothers, wives and women in general, and the result is Watson’s meatiest, most compelling showcase in an age.

A solemn community tragedy set in an unnamed, unloved Irish fishing village,
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