Albatross (2010) - Synopsis

A fresh, modern-day coming-of-age tale focusing on 17-year-old force of nature Emelia (newcomer Jessica Brown Findlay) who bursts into the lives of the dysfunctional Fischer family when she is hired to work in their guest house in a sleepy town on the South Coast. Beth Fischer (Felicity Jones), also seventeen, is cramming for her A-Levels, in a desperate bid to escape to University, whilst dad Jonathan (Sebastian Koch), once a best-selling author, is suffering from writer’s block much to the annoyance of frustrated mum Joa (Julia Ormond) who runs the hotel and laments the promising acting career she once left behind.

Aspiring writer Emelia has been bought up by her grandparents and is under the impression that she is the great granddaughter of renowned novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jonathan sees promise in Emelia and begins to tutor her, as Beth becomes enamoured with her forthright friend and decides to take her along on a visit to Oxford University - with hilariously raucous results.

As Emelia’s confidence and free-spirit help Beth learn to enjoy life beyond, Emelia too is inspired by Beth’s determination to focus and she begins to see a way to break through her self-destructive tendencies. However, when Emelia and Jonathan begin an illicit affair, the girls’ friendship is threatened.

Can Emelia and Beth escape the ties of small town existence and free themselves of the Albatross around their necks?

The debut feature from award-winning television director Niall MacCormick (BAFTA-nominated BBC drama Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) and written by Tamzin Rafn, ALBATROSS boasts lead performances from two of Britain’s most exciting up-and-coming actresses Jessica Brown Findlay (‘Lady Sybil’ in hit ITV drama Downton Abbey) and Felicity Jones (Chalet Girl, Best Actress winner at Sundance for upcoming film Like Crazy). They are joined by established actors Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Unknown) and, in an engagingly comic performance, Emmy-award winning Julia Ormond (HBO’s Temple Grandin, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), alongside supporting actors including Harry Treadaway (Fish Tank) and veteran character-actor Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day).