A tense, captivating, and touching portrait of family dynamics starring Carrie Coon, Elizabeth Olsen, and Natasha Lyonne as sisters who converge after their father’s health declines.
His Three Daughters
When their father’s health worsens, three estranged sisters come together to try to plan for the inevitable. The eldest is high-strung Katie (Carrie Coon), who talks a hundred miles a minute and stresses about all the practical details. The middle sister, Rachel (Natasha Lyonne), is ready to check out after spending a year taking care of the man. And the youngest sibling, Christina (Elizabeth Olsen), seems always on the verge of tears, trying her best to clumsily keep the peace while they’re all stuck in their father’s small apartment.
The three actors deliver absorbing performances, defining distinct personalities, each with their own perspective on how to deal with the situation. Their father remains hidden from our view, confined to his bed, but as the daughters take turns butting heads, we slowly piece together a portrait through the women he raised.
Eschewing the format of a traditional family drama, His Three Daughters is a story of what we cannot see, of the work it takes to peel back the layers of someone’s pain, and of the patience required to meet their joy. Director Azazel Jacobs not only captures the tragic, tiring limbo of palliative care, but also offers a sharp snapshot of the bonds only siblings can share, finding laughter amidst the sadness, to tell a story that is ultimately about all the messy and wonderful things a parent leaves behind.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: drug use