Saturday, 11 September 2010

Tamara Drewe (UK, 2010)

Genre: Comedy

Set in the English countryside among cows, cakes and aspiring writers on retreat, this quasi-comedy follows the story of the girl who made her dreams come true in London returning, now as a beautiful young woman, to the place she grew up with a splat and with a splash. She writes a column about fashion and celebrity for a London magazine and wants to turn her eye now to autobiography and in the same style of baring all, expurgate herself of her sad memories growing up. Directed by Stephen Frears of “Dirty Pretty Things”, this film though too dark and sleazy to be outright comedy and too stereotypical to be arthouse, nevertheless has the energy of a cartoon strip on which apparently it was based.

Though deep as ditch-water, it’s fun, funny and incredibly well-done. For beneath the shallowness is the rich and humorous soil of passion and intrigue, sense of belonging and resentment, deceit and integrity and the striking parallels between characters, young and old, past and present, newly-rich and established country folk, even fictional and real, and culminating in a satisfying sense of natural justice. Finally, the camera-work is brilliant and there’s a splendid rock soundtrack.

This film was funded by the UK Film Council. It’s terribly sad that as a result of government cutbacks, the UK Film Council will no longer be funding British film, and without this funding such quality productions as this one or “Slumdog Millionaire”, “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”, “Bright Young Things”, “Touching the Void” or “Man on Wire” might never make the light of day in future.

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