The Keeping Room: Film Review


I saw this during the 2014 London Film Festival. Yep, you read that right. Almost two full years ago. The Keeping Room has finally achieved a cinema release! YAAY! I’m glad – it is a great little film and the best I’ve ever seen Brit Marling.

The movie is set at the end of the American Civil War and sisters Augusta (Marling) and Louise (Hailee Steinfeld) and their African-American slave occupy their time while waiting for their family to return from war. However, things to go awry when Augusta accidentally meets two soldiers (lead by Sam Worthington) who want her whatever the cost so they track her back to the home, where the girls must fight for their lives.

At the beginning, I found this quite dull and I hoped that it would go somewhere soon. For what felt like ages, we just watched the girls while away their days on the land, tending to animals, having dinner blah blah blah. I had no idea what was going to happen but I wanted it to happen soon. The character of Louise is very annoying – she is racist, lazy and obnoxious but Augusta is so fierce and brave that it balances out.


Things begin to get interesting when Augusta makes a trip to find medicine. She accidentally meets the two soldiers who become very fond of such a pretty girl that they make it their mission to find her. You know they mean trouble – they are both pretty detestable. The film gets going as soon as she meets them and the tension builds immediately.

From that moment on, the film is so gripping you almost forget how slow it was at the start. I love Augusta’s attitude and I thought the slave (played by Muna Otaru) was so good. I preferred her to Steinfeld. One minute she could tell the most touching, emotional story and the next making us chuckle with her sense of humour. The girls band together when the men arrive and the action ensues. I don’t want to spoil the surprises but I will say there are a lot of twists and turns during the fight. I really enjoyed it.

I found the setting and time period fascinating, the actresses showed off great Southern accents and Marling was fantastic. Yes, it was slow in the beginning but it made the end feel so action-packed and unexpected. As a whole, I liked this film a lot, so I would recommend if you want something a little different.

This article was originally written in 2014 when I saw The Keeping Room as part of the 2014 BFI London Film Festival. 

In cinemas Friday 17th June 


  1. […] and I cannot believe it’s take so long to be released in cinemas! You can see my 2014 review here. Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld star as two girls keeping their house and farm warm while the […]


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