Writer: Polly Steele (Screenplay)
Starring: Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton, Karin Bertling, Stanley Weber, Evan Magyar
Plot: Let Me Go is a film about mothers and daughters, it is about ghosts from the past and the impact they leave on the present. Developed from Helga Schneider’s true life story, Let Me Go explores the effect on Helga’s life of being abandoned by her mother, Traudi in 1941 when she was just four years old. The film is set in the year 2000 following not only Helga and Traudi’s journeys but the next two generations and how Beth, Helga’s daughter and Emily her granddaughter are confronted with the long-term effects of Traudi’s leaving. When Helga receives a letter telling her that Traudi is close to death, it is Emily with whom Helga shares the truth. Emily volunteers to accompany her to Vienna to meet the great-grandmother she thought was dead, and experience the unraveling of the darkest of family secrets.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Powerful Performances
Story: Let Me Go starts as Helga (Stevenson) learns her mother Traudi (Bertling) is near death, the same mother that abandoned her 58 years ago. Helga’s daughter Beth (May) is going through her own problems and her daughter Emily (Boynton) has a strong bond with her grandmother.
Helga travels with Emily to confront her mother in Vienna where truths of Traudi’s life come out, while Beth is left at home feeling alone because of the relationship her mother and daughter have. Family secrets come out over the trip both on the trip and back home.
Thoughts on Let Me Go
Characters – We follow four generations of one family here, Traudi is the oldest, the one that abandoned her daughter during World War II, she is dying and has reached out to reconnect before she dies, even though her past will only bring nightmares to the rest of the family. Helga is the daughter that was abandoned, she has raised her own family with ease believing her mother was dead, only to need to confront her and her past. Beth is Helga’s daughter, divorced and trying to make sure her own daughter has the future she is dreaming off, often left out of place due to the relationship her mother and daughter have. Emily is the youngest member of the family, she is at university and joins Helga in Vienna using the trip to learn about her family and prepare for the course she is taking.
Performances – We have four powerful performances from four actresses at different stages of their careers, all four are fantastic with what they must deal with as the story unfolds and learn about the past.
Story – The story shows us how four generations of one family have been affected by what happened when one Helga was abandoned by her mother, we see how the past has broken the people involved and how sometimes the past is better left kept secret. This is a drama that is heavily involved in how the people react to hearing about what people went through and how the moment that let it all comes.
Settings – The film uses the two main settings, we see parts in London but we are mostly focused on Vienna which shows us just what the history of one of them will have on the story.
Final Thoughts – This is a powerful performance driven movie that does show a story which is based on a real person, it is an important moment for the four generations of one family will go through.
Overall: Powerful performance driven movie.