DVD: Archipelago (15)

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The Independent Culture

"Don't be so nice," Cynthia berates her drippy brother, Edward (Tom Hiddleston), when he volunteers to sleep in the attic room at his family's holiday home on the Scilly Isle of Tresco.

Ed gets it in the neck throughout Joanna Hogg's often excruciating (particularly the dinner scenes) look at a glum, upper-middle-class family unit. The trio wait for the boorish dad ("I don't think Will is very strong on imagination") to turn up. He never does, so they snipe and paint while Ed flirts weakly with the cook. In contrast, the women patronise the "help": "How clever you are", they tell her. Hogg's courageously slow-paced drama is gloomy and, on reflection, rather brilliant.