The Eternal Daughter Ending Explained: Memories can be tricky. It’s those haunting memories of the past that lie secretly in the subconscious not allowing us to live a better and more meaningful life and the only way to deal with that is by facing them and addressing them in a healthy way.
“The Eternal Daughter” starring Tilda Swinton who plays a dual role tells us the story of a mother and daughter, Rosalind and Julie respectively, and their relationship over the course of their weekend away at an estate.
Julie is an artist and is currently working on writing a film about her mother and herself and thinks it would be better if they could spend more time together so she takes her mother to her aunt’s estate where her mother had grown up but what she didn’t know is those bad memories her mother has with the estate and how it makes her uneasy which she gets to know later on. The estate gives off an eerie feeling with a rude receptionist who gets the mother and daughter duo riled up when they do not get their reserved room.
However, the whole estate seems to be empty other than their room, The condition of the estate with the cracks and the weather which is misty is creepy, at least and we get glimpses of the evidence that there is something more going on. However, the film’s main story is of the mother and daughter duo.
The film moves around in past and future timelines by showing us the mother-daughter duo spending time together but then hardly any scenes where they’re both together in the same frame which makes us question if one of them is real or not. Julia has prioritized work over her personal life and that causes her problems as well, we see her questioning her choices at one point in the film.
One of them is taking her mother to a place where she doesn’t have any good memories and the second is, prioritizing work over personal life because when her mother gets ill, Julie is the one doing everything to take care of her, and in that process, she finds that comfort in having someone who will take care of you in your old days and she has never put any thought in starting her own family and she’s contemplating if she made a wrong choice in her life.
All of this combined with the ending of the movie where at one point we see Julie getting a cake and after she blows out the candle, we do not see her mother, Rosalind anymore which takes us to the original assumption of whether she was even real or Julie’s memories or her manifestation.
This gets easier to understand if we understand the timeline in which Julie and Rosalind did come to the estate but probably a year ago and Rosalind had died at that time. The scenes we see where Rosalind is there in the estate are from the earlier visit.
However, Rosalind dies there on the estate at that time and Julie comes there the next year in hopes of getting some closure after her mother’s death and maybe because she needs to be somewhere she’ll feel close to her mother since there’s no one left for her now and she doesn’t have any kids too.
And that is what we see in the end, Julie wants to celebrate the birthday with her mother but then her mother Rosalind isn’t there anymore. It takes facing those memories, insecurities, and fears that she’s kept hidden away and probably too afraid to confront as well, once she confronts those memories she sleeps like a baby.
It is the next day that she’s clear with what she wants to do and has progressed in her writing and when she leaves the weather isn’t misty anymore. Its clear.