In the world of film debut’s there tends to be a certain pressure put on filmmakers with promise. Not everyone can make a Citizen Kane or a Reservoir Dogs, it can take an artist some time to find themselves in their work and build tropes and isms for the wider public to state when they can’t make an independent critique on a work but want to seem cool in front of their doting hipster peers.

Now I’m not sure if anything said there applies to Antonia Campbell- Hughes debut feature It’s In Us All, but what I will say is there’s promise; in what I don’t know. The visuals of the film have a nice sheen about them, and you do get a real sense of atmosphere making the locations look hauntingly beautiful. The framing and lighting are nice too but as much as these elements show skill, they become the overused quality of the film. Things look nice but that is all, there’s very little material weight in these images after a time.

The performances range from somewhat watchable to downright confusing and everything in between. Calm With Horse’s Cosmo Jarvis seems to struggle to get much out the material. He’s constantly over acting then under acting in scenes that make for some meme-worthy viewing out of context but in context feel so desperate, like he’s in a different film altogether.

The writing is, to say the least, off. Character motivations are non-existent, what seemed like a down to earth plot at the start, of someone from vying to find his who he is but faulting at every turn, crumbles mere minutes in and just gets stupidly weird from there. All the nice cut aways of swaying trees and country roads isn’t going to save this plot. Not even the nice, serene ambient soundtrack (by The Horrors Tom Furse) can’t help it.

In the end its all style and no substance. Best comparison I can make with it is Aoife McCardle’s 2017 film Kissing Candice, a film full of nice visuals but should have just been a music video. Maybe that’s the promising future for Campbell- Hughes who knows but serious changes are needed in her work if she’s to succeed as a narrative filmmaker.

  • Written and Directed by: Antonia Campbell-Hughes
  • Starring: Cosmo Jarvis and Rhys Mannion
  • Run Time: 1hr and 32min
  • Released: March 14th 2022 (US) | September 23rd, 2022 (UK & Ireland)
  • Rating: 2 out of 5

Review by Marcus Rochford.

It’s In Us All Trailer