Discovery

My Name is Emily

Simon Fitzmaurice

Packed off to a foster home after her father is institutionalized, a rebellious young Irish girl resolves to bust her dad out of the hospital where he's been confined, in this spirited coming-of-age tale from celebrated memoirist and first-time feature director Simon Fitzmaurice.

The debut feature from Irish writer-director Simon Fitzmaurice is a spirited coming-of- age story that traces the journey of a strong-willed young woman as she weathers loss, upheaval, and rebirth.

"If you hide from death, you hide from life." Teenage Emily (Harry Potter's Evanna Lynch) inherits this mantra from her father Robert (Michael Smiley, also at this year's Festival in The Lobster), an author and philosopher of sorts, whose lectures and writings encourage others to live for the moment at the expense of social niceties.

But following the tragic death of Emily's mother, Robert starts to change, and his visionary eccentricities now appear to be symptoms of mental illness. Robert is soon institutionalized, and Emily is sent away to live with foster parents and attend a school where everyone dismisses her as a weirdo — everyone, that is, except Arden (George Webster), an awkward but endearing classmate with family problems of his own.

When Emily suddenly decides to travel north to bust her father out of his psychiatric hospital, the hopelessly smitten Arden joins her on a renegade road trip that will give both youngsters their first taste of what it truly means to be alive.

Brimming with images of freedom, from the wide open road to the vast expanse of the sea, and buoyed by an arrestingly confident performance from Lynch, My Name is Emily will resonate with the young and young-at-heart alike. This is a stylish and assured film about self-discovery as an ongoing adventure.

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