This was the third terrific film I’ve seen in three nights. Video
It’s a smart British number.
Their storytelling ethos is more pessimistic than the American and it usually strikes me as smarter.
No other actor could have played Jim Broadbent’s part. He’s fantastic as the stout father, who can never quite relay his intimate feelings and emotions to his son, who is played with understated brilliance by Colin Firth. Sarah Lancashire deserves a mention, who has a small part but delivers with consistent aplomb (she’s great on the telly), and Matthew Beard as the young Blake Morrison, upon whom the film and book are auto-biographically based.
As his father lays on his deathbed, the son recounts his childhood memories of the part his dad played in his life, whether funny, mean, sad or eccentric. Smart direction plus great lead performances, at least one of which is definitely worthy of an Oscar, adds to the overall emotional connection with the audience and culminates with a surprisingly touching ending, despite it’s inevitability.
Having seen the film with my mum, who not only read the book by Blake Morrison, but had a father much like the one portrayed in the film, I found it all the more connectible. But this is not to say it is not for everyone. I think we can all relate to the fathers who can never quite express how they truly feel, and the childhoods spent moping and dwelling on seemingly world-shattering things.
The cinema i saw this in had about ten people at most, which is shocking! We need to see more British films like this, if just to keep the British film industry going. It deserves to fill a theatre and gain much more exposure than it currently has, regardless of those who might say it would have been better placed on television.
It is a superb film, thoughtfully shot, very well written and a joy to be in the company of for all of it’s ninety minutes. And yes, I cried at the end. Sniff. But maybe you will too.