Wednesday, 7 December 2011

If Celia Johnson's bored housewife had run off with Trevor Howard, this is the fate that would have befallen her. (Telegraph)

This was an England scarred by war, a world of blistering paint and shillings for the gas, and redundant heroes.
You could almost smell the brown-ness of 1950, the whiff of tweeds that are hardly ever dry-cleaned.
I emerged from the cinema feeling wrung out by the heart-wrenching music, which is exactly right, and by Rachel Weisz's emotionally-shattering performance.
My only criticism is that she is too beautiful (and doesn't look old enough) to be Hester, the married woman who stakes everything on her all-consuming love for a younger man.
(I'm sure I saw The Deep Blue Sea years ago in the theatre, with Penelope Wilton more convincingly careworn and battered.)
The film ends, literally, on a flicker of hope. That could easily be blown out. It's had mixed reviews, but I loved every heart-breaking, miserable moment.


StuckInABook said...

I love the play (only read; not seen) so would be interested in seeing the film. For some reason I thought it wasn't based on the play - maybe the posters put me off?

mary said...

Simon, it's so long since I saw the play that I can't remember it in great detail. Certainly the film seems to have airbrushed out any homosexual subtext - you'd have to read very closely between the lines to pick up on it - and, of course, that wipes out the main reason why he's not so hot on her! You'd probably enjoy it more if you forgot the play and just went for Rachel Weisz. And spotting the Brief Encounter moment!

Eggs on the Roof said...

I hardly dare go - I'm not sure the flicker of hope at the end sounds substantial enough. The music alone would turn me to mush

mary said...

I was mush when I came out, Charlie. There was a bit of me thinking, do I need to pay £8 to make myself miserable! But I'm a sucker for a feel-bad movie!

Darlene said...

You had me at '....England scarred by war...'

Hopefully this will be playing at a cinema near us and soon!

mary said...

It looks amazing, Darlene, really captures the brown atmosphere.