Starring: Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens
Directed by: Christopher Menaul
Written By: Jonathan Smith
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 40 min
Set in Cornwall in 1912 this is a lovingly created film of a bygone era where passionate bohemian artists strive to find their calling, their true selves and loves. The cast are on good form with Emily Browning being especially good holding the films focus for us as the main character, Florence Carter-Wood. The backdrop of Cornwall is lovely and everything is exquisite, impeccable and well crafted. It’s all very tragic and the fact that it’s based on true events elevates it from being a dreary drama. But only just. It only really gets going about halfway in. I would recommend it for a rainy Sunday or if you fancy a nice gentle old fashioned ‘Englishness.’ It’s not terribly exciting, even though there is some swearing and nudity, but it manages to not be dull mainly through the cinematography – it’s all so pretty and rustic! The lovely compositions are always pleasing to the eye but there are a few moments where the main character Florence suffers extreme inner turmoil and the camera gets to be freed from its tripod and become loose, dynamic and hand-held. These moments really help break free from the sensible confines of the films period style. I wish I knew more about modern painters so as to appreciate A.J Munnings’ work more, but that said, it doesn’t affect the story as it’s told from Florence’s point of view.
If you fancy a period film about young artists and a love triangle based on a true story. Watch on but grab a nice warm drink and snuggle under a blanket first – the English weather may make your toes feel cold.
HD to appreciate the lovely and painterly composed rural scenes, quaint cottages by the sea and candle lit interiors.
Best element for me: << spoiler >>
The mysterious eyes at the films start only become clear at a very well done moment near the end of the film that gracefully book ends one of the characters story. Elegant.