While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ... See full summary »
The lives of an English working-class family are told out of order in a free-associative manner. The first part, "Distant Voices", focuses on the father's role in the family. The second part, "Still Lives", focuses on his children.
Davies' film is divided into three segments entitled "Children", "Madonna and Child", and "Death and Transfiguartion". The segments tell the life of Robert Tucker. The first segment looks ... See full summary »
A Korean-born man finds himself stuck in Columbus, Indiana, where his architect father is in a coma. The man meets a young woman who wants to stay in Columbus with her mother, a recovering addict, instead of pursuing her own dreams.
Haley Lu Richardson,
Terence Davies first met Cynthia Nixon when auditioning actresses for a comedy film called Mad About the Boy that ultimately never got made. He never forgot her, though, and her resemblance to Emily Dickinson is what got her cast in this film. See more »
In a lamp-lit scene where the Dickinson family sits in the drawing room, Emily is reading a book. The lamp is on the opposite of the print. There is no way she could have seen a single word on the page. See more »
The intention here is to create a novel in form and movement. It is like most Davies's films, styled in the same characteristic manner. The form means scenes progress in a way that is reminiscent of Bergman's Cries and Whispers' that is, complete in themselves and not always related to the previous action.
Within this template the film is quite successful: the design and the actors, all contribute to something that strives to make a film about an artist. That may not be very interesting and its presentation is quite static, but then, so were the lives of the people depicted.
Where it is flawed is the script, which, no doubt was crafted with some attention, yet, with a limited set of rhetorical devices: paradox, homily, hyperbole, irony, for instance; it soon becomes quite irritating. So many scenes run through a few set pieces with these rhetorical plays which are intended to amuse but repeat themselves and without any forward motion. There it resembles Bergman too: the self chastising, the self examination, accusation and reproach; the moral duty to become better, and while this may recreate the anxieties of the people involved, it is not accomplished writing.
Unfortunately this film has the moral worthiness of chapel instruction without a better insight into its subject.
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