Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
When Akin arrives at the farm, he finds his job. This is what he expected to find. When Sarah opens her legs, she finds someone watching. This is what she expected to find. When Jeremiah opens his mouth, frightening things come out of it. This has come to be expected. But what happens by the creek next to the cow. This was not expected.Director Josephine Decker’s highly acclaimed second feature unfolds with the lyricism and inexorable sense of tragedy of an ancient Appa- lachian murder ballad. Indie icon Joe Swanberg (director of Happy Christmas and Drinking Buddies) delivers a beautifully understated performance as Akin, a soft-spoken farmworker who takes a summer job working for the belligerent, domineering Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet), who lives in incestuous isolation with his daughter. Sophie Traub’s performance as the daughter, Sarah, has the sun-dappled quality of one of Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings: hers is a completely innocent and destructive sexuality, overripe to the point of bursting.Thou Wast Mild and Lovely is a highly intimate and subtly erotic thriller inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and featuring love, death, guns, goats, a farmer, his grown daughter and the secrets they no longer succeed in keeping.
Starring Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstreet
Director Josephine Decker