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Herself (2020)

R | | Drama | 8 January 2021 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
A young mother escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system. She sets out to build her own home and in the process rebuilds her life and re-discovers herself.


Phyllida Lloyd
2,950 ( 881)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Molly McCann ... Molly
Clare Dunne ... Sandra
Ruby Rose O'Hara ... Emma
Ian Lloyd Anderson ... Gary
Shadaan Felfeli Shadaan Felfeli ... Shop Keeper
Harriet Walter ... Peggy
Cathy Belton ... Jo
Art Kearns Art Kearns ... John the Pub Landlord
Ericka Roe ... Amy
Anita Petry Anita Petry ... Rosa
Lorcan Cranitch ... Michael
Tina Kellegher ... Tina
Donking Rongavilla Donking Rongavilla ... Lazlo
Eimear Morrissey ... Grumpy Woman in Queue
Ger Carey Ger Carey ... Landlord


A young mother escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system. She sets out to build her own home and in the process rebuilds her life and re-discovers herself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life under construction.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some domestic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Judge McBride: I understand Molly has witnesses something she shouldn't, but I cannot condone parental alienation.
See more »


References Grand Designs (1999) See more »


The Lass of Aughrim
Vocals - Una Palliser
Performed by Simon Johnson, Tad Sargent and Natalie Holt
Arranged by Una Palliser, Rupert Christie and Natalie Holt
See more »

User Reviews

Compelling Irish social and relationship drama
6 January 2021 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Herself" (2020 release from Ireland; 97 min.) brings the story of Sandra and her family. As the movie opens, Sandra is playful with her 2 young daughters , but when her husband Gary gets home, he is enraged and beats her up badly. Sandra and her girls leave Gary and find temporary shelter with government help. But things are tough. Sandra works 2 jobs, and still can barely keep things together. Then one day she sees an ad for self-building a house for only 35,000 Euros... At this point we are less than 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from British director Phyllida Lloyd, who has previously brought us the excellent "The Iron Lady" and the original "Mama Mia". But in truth, this film is a labor of love from Clare Dunne, the Irish actress who not only plays the lead character Sandra, but also came up with the story and co-wrote the script. It is clear she gives her all in this film. Beware: this is not an easy film to watch, for a number of reasons (the spousal abuse scenes are brutal), but also because of the thick *and authentic( Irish accents, which at times entire sentences went over my head. Apart from the relationship drama, the film also shines a light on an urgent social need in Dublin, namely the lack of affordable housing, But wait, where have we heard this before? Indeed this very theme was also central to the 2018 Irish film "Rosie", starring Sarah Greene. Back to "Herself": much of the film you get this sense of dread, as if yet more bad stuff can happen to Sarah. A comedy this ain't.

"Herself" premiered at the 2020 Sundance film festival, yes exactly a year ago already. Then a little thing called COVID-19 changed the world, and wrecked the movie industry to its core. The movie was given a limited one-week theater run the first week of 2021, before it will shift to Amazon Instant Video. My art-house theater here in Cincinnati thankfully had it on its slate this week. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay (about 10 people). If you are in the mood for a heavy social and relationship drama, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.

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Ireland | UK



Release Date:

8 January 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herself See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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