Currently browsing the "Tom Courtenay" tag.

Review: Summerland

Set mostly during World War II, Summerland takes place on the beautiful and remote southern coast of England. Misanthropic writer Alice (Gemma Arterton, Vita & Virginia, Tamara Drewe) lives in a small village where the kids think she’s a witch, and the rest of the villagers leave her a wide berth. She’s fine with that since she’s hard at work writing while pining away for the loss of her one great love. Then one day she opens her door and a young boy named Frank (Lucas Bond) is there – an evacuee from London who expects to live with her. To say she’s reluctant to take him in would be a gross understatement. But of course she does and little by little they grow to care about one other. It’s a pretty familiar story, and it feels a bit like an episode of one of your favorite BBC series. But it’s also a pleasant, heart-warming diversion we can lose ourselves in for a time during this virus obsessed period.

45 Years

Going into the Academy Awards, Charlotte Rampling had a very good chance of winning a Best Actress statue — for a while. But her ill-conceived remarks about the diversity problems of the Academy could easily cost her a well-deserved prize for her role in 45 Years. In this quiet drama she plays a Kate, just a week away from her 45th wedding anniversary when she suddenly finds the underpinnings of her marriage in question, as a letter arrives to let her husband Geoff know that the perfectly preserved corpse of his true love Katya has been found, 50+ years after she disappeared into a crevasse in the Swiss Alps while on a hiking trip with him.

Quartet

“Ah, Bach!” If you’re a fan of M*A*S*H, you’ll get the reference. Hawkeye advises classical-music neophyte Radar to use the phrase as a catch-all to impress a nurse. Still cracks me up. That said, here we go:

“Ah, Verdi!” If that means anything to you at all, then it’s quite possible you’ll like Quartet. For what it’s worth, my mother was lukewarm about it; Arty Chick’s mother loved it. Both know their stuff when it comes to classical music. The film is about a home for retired musicians who put on an annual concert/fundraiser to celebrate the birthday of Italian composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi. Think The Golden Girls meets The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, only never quite as fun or funny, despite excellent performances by a bevy of British royalty of stage and screen.